According to surveys and research studies among Canadian employers and newcomers, there are several problems immigrants must face to enter the job market:


According to Canadian employers, there are several negative factors in newcomer workers, among which these are the most outstanding:


● Communication and language obstacles

● Non being acquainted with the Canadian way of dealing with matters.

● Non having diplomas or reliable job experience

● No licensing by the Local Associations

● Lack of training or academic upgrading

● Different standards (unities, regulations, technical regulations, etc)

● Racism and Discrimination

● Ignorance

● Difficulty in certifying the first job experience

● Lack of Canadian experience

● Lack of knowledge of the local job market (companies, employers, etc)

● lack of knowledge of the different assistance services available for the community

● Lack of knowledge of the worker’s rights.

 ● Disinformation ( wrong or incomplete information from friends, relatives, community, etc.)

 ● Inability to carry out a successful job interview


The main obstacles for hiring newcomers are


● English ! English! English! ( writing. speaking, listening)

● Lack of experience in the Canadian way of working

● Many newcomers will be temporary workers who will move to different cities.

● Lack of abilities to work in a team.

● Frustration because of working in offices under their real capacity or degree.

● Cultural difference (religion, costumes, etc)

● More difficulty to integrate themselves into a work team

More difficulty to assess knowledge and abilities. 


On the other hand, Canadian employers know that newcomers have some advantages to be employed. The most outstanding are:


● Good Workers

● Respectful and eager to work

● Loyal

● Usually very well qualified (often over qualified)

● They add diversity to the work place.

● New ideas

● Flexible in their timetable

● They usually work for lower salaries

● They may be useful for the business or company because of their native language





Independently from experience, or hard skills required for a certain craft, you should have some other characteristics to work successfully in some job positions. These personal abilities or soft skills are related to your personal communication skills, problem solving capacity, positive attitude and the ability to work in a team. In general terms, they could be defined as the personal abilities that will give you employment possibilities, as they are the ones employers want in their employees.


Through several studios and research, the Canadian government has defined, classified and assessed 9 basic skills required for a worker to  have in different degrees to enter the job market successfully, which are highly valorised by Canadian employers when they are to hire an applicant. 


A.     Text Reading Comprehension


Text reading comprehension refers to understanding sentences and paragraphs. That includes understanding notes, letters, memos, manuals, specifications, regulations or technical requirements, books, reports, and newspapers. It also refers to the understanding of forms, labels, printed and non-printed media (computer texts, micro tags, etc), graph texts, tables and graph information. For example: information to use a product, supervisors’ memos, detailed job orders, notes form co-workers, training manuals, computer manuals, safety and security industrial regulations,  product specifications in plain, building  and electricity codes, reference books for the profession, technical magazines, etc.


B.    Documenta Use


Use of documents related to the tasks implying a variety of information in the form of words, numbers, icons, lines, colours, Shapes, etc. Also graph conventions, drawings and plans. Examples: production graphs, content or comparative tables, blueprints, signals, universal usage labels, forms filling out, Geography maps, etc.


 - Writing


It includes writing texts, filling out documents, both handwritten and computer typed. Example: writing a memory minder note for a co-worker, filling application forms, making a valorisation order or purchase order, etc.


 - Numeracy


It refers to the various uses of numbers and the ability to think in quantitative terms. That ability will be based on the ability to do and apply numeric calculations to everyday life and at work, such as money calculations, writing and handling with a budget, take measures with an instrument  (verniers, metric tapes) and arithmetic calculations, analysing numeric information, etc.


Other examples: Bank operations, payroll, handling with time,  and money, take measures to buy furniture or floors, make calculations in foreign currency, calculate and deduct taxes, calculate material or power consumptions, etc.


C.     Oral Communication


It refers to the ability to speak and interchange thoughts and information with other workers in a work team. There are four levels, from basic interaction to extended use in a variety of complex communicative situations. The level of oral communication has been developed to be compatible with the one set by the Canadian Language Benchmarks, English as a Second Language for Adults, 1996. The assessment is performed through some tests determining the level of English  “speaking” and “listening” of every candidate.


D.    Thinking Skills


Thinking skills are divided into 6 areas:

Problem Solving: Seek, find, and implement the course of actions leading to the solution of a problem.

Decision Making: Choosing among different solutions available. Although decision making is part of the problem solving process, the solution is not the decision making itself.

Critical Thought

Planning and Organising tasks at Work

Significant Use of Memory

Searching and Finding Information: It implies the use of diverse sources such as people, texts, Internet, computer data, or Information Systems.



-   Working with Others

It refers to the ability to work along with other workers.


E.    Computer use


It is related to the abilities and skills in the use of different application software on a computer, to perform a task in a modem efficient way.


Examples: A mechanical engineer must be able to design a mechanic device  by using an AutoCAD program, Mechanical desktop, Inventor or Catia. He /she must also be able to draw the plains, print them, and send them to a external provider by regular post or  via Internet as compressed files. They must also be acquainted with receiving and transferring AutoCAD o Mechanical Desktop, files containing designs on to third parties, or exporting them to a different format, such as those of Pro-Engineer o Solid Works, apart from operating worksheets (Excel /Lotus) efficiently, as well as word processors (MsWord, Word Perfect), e Internet (MsOutlook) to communicate with clients and providers on every day basis.


A graph Designer creates and edits graphs by the use of programs such as Corel Draw, Photo Shop or Illustrator, ensembles text and graph on pages, with applications like Page Maker o Quark Express. They must be able to do their job in a variety of application programs and graph resources, to choose the proper fonts, colour schemes and the best format for the final printing of the design.


F.     Continuous learning


It relates to the attitude and capacity to update knowledge constantly and acquire new techniques. Most jobs require constant upgrading and workers must keep on learning with the aim to grow up along with their own profession. Thus, they will get the essential skills that will help them to get employed.




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