Thursday, May 08, 2008

Severed Networks: Older Skilled Immigrants

Successive governments have failed to arrest the fall in the earning power of immigrants. Part of the problem is that the point system encourages the very kind of skilled worker most likely to fail, viz., older workers. The fact that their credentials are not always recognized is a well worn theme, but what has gotten less attention is just how hard it is establish oneself in a particular field without any contacts in that field and work contacts are what many new immigrants lack. It should come no surprise that new immigrants, who having failed to establish - reestablish really - themselves in chosen field, fall into jobs where they have community contacts (e.g., driving a taxi being a classic example). (People generally think that driving a cab as some kind of holding basin for all kinds of underemployed PhDs, but, in some cities anyway, it is actually a very hard field to get into if one does not have an in. ) For this reason alone, Canada needs to redo its point system such that it looks to attract younger skilled workers who are not as such a disadvantage contact wise as their peers.

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