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Appears in:
Pages: 1642-1649
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain

EMPLOYMENT INTEGRATION OF SKILLED IMMIGRANTS IN CANADA: BEYOND HUMAN CAPITAL, SOCIAL CAPITAL

K. Béji, S. Morin

Laval University (CANADA)
In the past two decades, Canada has seen an increase in migrant influx to counter the ageing active population and labour shortages. The country has adopted an economic immigration policy that favours the young, highly skilled, and French- and/or English-speaking. Despite increasing numbers of immigrants, professional integration is more difficult for newer migrants, notably for the most highly skilled. Many studies and government reports associate socioprofessional integration difficulties primarily with language barriers, the non-recognition of abilities and skills, discriminatory practices, and the lack of social networks.

Most immigrants in Canada have invested in schooling and vocational training in their country of origin as well as in Canada to climb the educational “ladder,” improve their human capital and thus position themselves favourably in the labour market line-up. However, statistics concerning the employment integration of skilled immigrants in Canada tend to contradict the basic premises of the human capital theory. In its most general form, this theory supposes that an individual who has invested in schooling or training will receive returns to this investment in the form of a better employment situation and a salary superior to that of someone who has invested less in his or her education. Statistics show that skilled immigrants have more difficulties on the labour market than the native-born. In addition to high unemployment rates relative to individuals with equivalent skills, these difficulties concern the ability to integrate a position corresponding to their skills, and the deskilling that can result. Also, skilled immigrants’ average salaries are inferior to those of the native born with equivalent education levels. Thus it seems that human capital is no longer sufficient and that skilled immigrants must have varied social networks and social capital in order to help them integrate the labour market.

The aim of this article is to analyze the integration process of Canadian immigrants in the last ten years. We will answer many questions: Is investment in education and training enough for skilled immigrants in Canada to obtain a job related to their skills? What are the main obstacles they face? What are the salary gaps between skilled immigrants and skilled natives? Is there a significant risk of deskilling? What public policies exist to match immigrants’ skills to labour market needs?? What is the role of social capital and of networks in the “quality” of the integration of new immigrants? Are female immigrants particularly threatened by “bad” employment integration and by deskilling?
@InProceedings{BEJI2011EMP,
author = {B{\'{e}}ji, K. and Morin, S.},
title = {EMPLOYMENT INTEGRATION OF SKILLED IMMIGRANTS IN CANADA: BEYOND HUMAN CAPITAL, SOCIAL CAPITAL},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {1642-1649}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Béji AU - S. Morin
TI - EMPLOYMENT INTEGRATION OF SKILLED IMMIGRANTS IN CANADA: BEYOND HUMAN CAPITAL, SOCIAL CAPITAL
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 1642
EP - 1649
ER -
K. Béji, S. Morin (2011) EMPLOYMENT INTEGRATION OF SKILLED IMMIGRANTS IN CANADA: BEYOND HUMAN CAPITAL, SOCIAL CAPITAL, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 1642-1649.
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