Hiring skilled immigrants in Ottawa


According to Statistics Canada, recent immigrants to Ottawa who held a university degree had an unemployment rate more than three times higher than their Canadian-born counterparts.

Yet, year after year, businesses cite their interest in acquiring qualified global talent in order to alleviate skill and labour shortages, grow their cross-cultural competency, and develop new markets.

While local immigrant serving agencies, educational institutions, organizations and community groups provide a variety of programs to assist newcomers to prepare for the Canadian workplace, immigrants and immigrant-serving agencies say that the most pressing challenge is connecting newcomers with appropriate positions that will fully leverage their skills.

Since 2007, the HIO initiative has engaged with more than 1000 employers in the Ottawa Region. Through HIO’s support, participating employer organizations have hired more than 2000 immigrants into skills appropriate positions.

This is where United Way partner Hire Immigrants Ottawa (HIO) comes in. Together, we’re helping advance our collective goal to help newcomers find employment that match their skills.

HIO provides employers with tools, resources and training to assist them in addressing the challenges and reaping the benefits of diversity in their organizations.

Immigrants make up 27 per cent of Ottawa’s labour force. Thirty-seven per cent of working immigrants have a Master’s degree, and 57 per cent with an earned Doctorate. Immigrants are also more likely to work in jobs not consistent with their skill levels and training.

Today, HIO is excited to present an Employer Learning Forum to help employers recruit, hire and integrate immigrants into their workplaces.

By Kelly McGahey
Senior Manager, Stakeholder Relations, Hire Immigrants Ottawa

What can employers do to attract global talent from overseas or from the pool of skilled immigrants who are already here in Ottawa?

At today’s Employer Learning Forum, employers convene to learn from experts and practitioners about the Federal Fast Track and Express Entry programs. These were launched by the government to help Canadian companies get the diverse skillsets they need to grow their business. Employers will also learn about the local pool of global talent and resources that support them to effectively hire and integrate immigrants into the workplace.

The Employer Learning Forum is one of many events Hire Immigrants Ottawa offers throughout the year for employers to learn about hiring global talent and improving cross-cultural competencies in the workplace.

Together, employers, immigrant-serving agencies and community groups, immigration professionals and policy makers can work together to be fully inclusive of immigrant talent to meet our needs and to strengthen and grow our economy.

Hire Immigrants Ottawa (HIO) is an initiative, funded in part by United Way Ottawa, which brings together employers, immigrant agencies and stakeholders to enhance employers’ ability to access the talents of skilled immigrants in the Ottawa area.




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