The Ontario government is putting forward a law that would forbid employers from mandating “Canadian work experience” in job applications. The Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development in Ontario argues that this measure will help alleviate labor shortages by giving newcomers the opportunity to obtain more fitting employment rather than accepting positions for which they are overqualified. The goal is to empower internationally trained immigrants to pursue careers in their areas of expertise, promoting their integration and contributing to the provincial workforce. Michael Ford, Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism, asserts that this modification will have positive impacts on families, communities, and businesses.Listen to this article.
Ontario’s Legislative Push and Strategies
Ontario is spearheading legislative changes aimed at eliminating Canadian work experience requirements for immigrants, a move championed by Labour Minister David Piccini. The objective is to redirect newcomers away from overqualified dead-end jobs and facilitate their entry into well-paying, rewarding careers that address the province’s labor shortages. Ontario believes that by lifting work experience barriers, more internationally trained immigrants will work in their studied fields, contributing significantly to the provincial economy. The province anticipates that these changes will enhance the interview process for qualified candidates and make it easier for immigrants to find meaningful employment, fostering vibrant communities and supporting businesses with essential talent.
In conjunction with this legislative initiative, Ontario plans to nominate 16,500 immigrants for permanent residence in 2023 through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). This aligns with the province’s broader strategy to strengthen the local labor market by welcoming skilled immigrants in critical sectors like healthcare and the skilled trades. Beyond these efforts, Ontario is proposing additional measures, including expanding eligibility for international students in the OINP, seeking greater influence in selecting economic immigrants, and improving oversight of how regulated professions assess international qualifications. By addressing overqualification issues documented in Statistics Canada reports, Ontario aims to create a more inclusive and effective immigration system that maximizes the contributions of newcomers to the province’s growth and prosperity.
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