A groundbreaking development unprecedented among all Canadian provinces and territories. Ontario has declared its intent to enact new legislation. Which, if approved, would prohibit employers from demanding “Canadian work experience” in job postings or application forms.
The announcement, made today by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development, aims to address in-demand labor shortages across the province by facilitating the entry of newcomers into the workforce.
You can apply in just 60 seconds – Take the free online assessment test and find out the best immigration options for you.
According to Ontario Labour Minister David Piccini, this legislative initiative aims to benefit newcomers to Canada. He asserts that “too many people arriving in Canada have been funneled toward dead-end jobs they’re overqualified for.”
Furthermore, to counteract this trend, Piccini emphasizes that Ontario’s proposed legislation would play a crucial role in ensuring that “these individuals can secure well-paying and fulfilling careers, thereby contributing to the resolution of the labor shortage.”
Additional Initiatives in Ontario to Embrace Qualified Newcomers to Canada
Ontario is actively emphasizing the significance of immigration to the province. With the Labour Minister underscoring the benefits of providing meaningful opportunities for newcomers. “When newcomers to Ontario get a meaningful chance to contribute, everyone wins.”
In line with this commitment, Ontario has set a target to nominate 16,500 immigrants for permanent residence in 2023 alone. The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), the province’s dedicated Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), will implement this initiative. The focus is on welcoming immigrants who can contribute substantially to the provincial labor market. Particularly in critical sectors such as healthcare and skilled trades.
The Significance of Immigration to Ontario
Highlighted in the press release unveiling this legislation is the pivotal role immigration plays in Canada’s overall growth. Particularly in Ontario, which consistently receives the highest number of immigrants annually among all provinces and territories.
The press release further underscores – “research has indicated that facilitating internationally trained newcomers to work in their respective professions could potentially boost the province’s GDP by up to $100 billion over five years.”
The Issue of Immigrant Overqualification Persists Across Canada
Ontario aims to address the longstanding challenge of overqualification among Canadian immigrants in the national workforce through the proposed legislative changes, extensively documented for many years.
Moreover, a 2020 report from Statistics Canada (StatsCan) revealed that – “immigrants were almost three times more likely (10.1%) than non-immigrants (3.6%) to have been persistently overqualified.”
*Persistent overqualification, as defined by StatsCan in the context of the study, pertains to workers aged 25 to 49 with a university degree who held a job in 2006 and 2016 that required no more than a high school education.
Anticipated Outcomes of Proposed Legislative Changes in Ontario
Ontario’s expectations are straightforward. Prohibiting Canadian work experience requirements aims to “facilitate even greater opportunities for internationally trained immigrants to pursue careers in their respective fields.”
The persistent problem of overqualification among Canadian immigrants in the national workforce has been extensively documented for many years. This challenge is one that Ontario aims to confront through the proposed legislative changes. The province recognizes the need for effective measures to address this issue. And is taking proactive steps to create a more conducive environment for internationally trained immigrants. By implementing these changes, Ontario seeks to provide greater opportunities for qualified candidates. It aims to pursue careers aligned with their education and skills, contributing to both individual success and the overall growth of the province.
In addition to the positive impact on the provincial workforce, Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism, Michael Ford, asserts. “This adjustment will also bolster support for families embarking on their new journeys. Foster the creation of more vibrant communities, and ensure businesses have access to the talent they require.”