By Peter Paul
The year ahead will be challenging for those of us who work on immigrant employment. Businesses are still not hiring at pre-recession levels. Even when they are hiring, many employers continue to rely on “Canadian experience” as a safeguard to screen potential candidates. Further, government support for programs will continue to be scaled back, leaving many in the sector working with fewer resources to advance the interventions that are making a real difference to skilled immigrants.
And yet, I think 2012 offers us an opportunity. It forces us to collaborate and innovate in new ways. Our work is complex and offers few clear ways to measure direct impact. We are challenged to be deliberate and strategic about understanding where we are making positive contributions in order to keep doing them well. Further, we have to examine how our work fits into the larger public policy landscape and consider our collective potential for influencing public policy on immigrant employment.
Here are a few other ideas that are percolating at ALLIES and various immigrant employment councils: