Why is it so hard to find International Job Positions in Canada?
No matter what you read or what anyone tells you the reality is that countries like Canada need international workers. In fact, a country like Canada needs lots of foreign workers and will continue to need people like you for the foreseeable future. The facts are undeniable. Canada has an aging population and a declining workforce. Additionally, the younger generation of Canadians are becoming increasingly more educated, leading to less and less workers in fields such as farm work, retail and restaurant help.
The question is not if there are jobs for you in Canada but rather why is it so hard to find them?
As background, we need to understand the dilemma that Canada faces with respect to international workers. As in every country, the issue of foreign workers is a political hot topic. In order for the economy to grow and business to thrive the country needs an appropriate workforce. On the other hand, in order for a government to survive it needs to assure the local population that it is upholding the social contract with respect to employment. In other words, that people will be protected from anything or anyone external taking the jobs that they want.
To many this seems like a simple proposition. Canada should only allow foreign workers into the country where there is evidence that no existing Canadian workers can be found to fill the position. However, the situation is not so simple because in Canada the main issue is not what is traditionally known as unemployment or the lack of jobs. As we previously mentioned, there are lots of jobs available in Canada given the combination of stable growth, an aging population and a shrinking ‘working age’ labour force.
Rather, the issue in Canada is something called ‘Underemployment’. Underemployment is the situation where a worker has a job but not in the capacity they desire given his or her skill set or education. Simply put, it is the situation where a growing number of Canadians are highly skilled but working in low skill jobs. Many people have written extensively on the underemployment problem in Canada, but the end result is that research shows that underemployed workers have low job satisfaction and more likely to leave their job.
This is a difficult situation for everyone involved in the immigration policy field. Governments cannot dissuade people from attending university, employees cannot convince themselves to work in jobs they feel are beneath them, and employers cannot continue to hire over-educated Canadians for jobs that make people unhappy and for which they will eventually quit.
As a result, a quiet understanding emerged and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Canada grew from approximately 101,000 individuals in 2002 to 338,000 individuals in 2012. Of course, as the program continued to grow, political adjustments had to be made to maintain the balance between all parties involved. Over the last few years it has become more expensive and onerous to bring foreign workers into Canada. However, no objective individual would suggest that the underlying need for foreign workers in Canada has diminished. Nothing has changed and large numbers of international candidates will continue to come to Canada to work each year. In fact, many suggest that the numbers will continue to grow given the economic, social and demographic situation of Canada.
This leads us back to the original question of the article. If there are so many jobs available to international candidates in Canada then why is it so hard to find them?
Unfortunately, a consequence of the current situation is that employers have realized it is much better to go about hiring international candidates in a quiet and non-disruptive manner rather than making themselves targets for communities or special interest groups.
This creates an unexpected circumstance for the international candidate looking to find a job and immigrate to Canada. It is very difficult to identify which employers in Canada are open to hiring international workers. Some companies in Canada will never really advertise that they are open to hiring foreign workers even though companies in fields such as construction and agriculture are constantly in search of international workers. Rather than post job openings, they will work with sites such as Uniivaa to help them get access to foreign workers.
So, don’t despair the next time you do a traditional online job search and realize that there are no jobs for international candidates. There are lots of jobs and Canadian employers absolutely need people just like you. However, thanks to the unexpected consequences of underemployment, these jobs are a lot harder to find than you think.