Immigrants finding jobs matching their skills in Quebec, Canada

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A study commissioned by the immigration ministry of Quebec suggests the stereotype of foreign trained immigrants not finding skilled employment in their particuliar field is not founded.

The study was commissioned to research whether immigrants who had settled in Quebec Canada, find employment in their field of expertise within 5 years of settlement. The study was lead by researcher Jean Renaud and looked at the job history of approximately 1,500 recent immigrants.

The study showed that seven out of ten immigrants did find employment in their specific field of skilled trained employment.

"This disproves the stereotype of foreign trained professionals mopping floors or driving cabs as an exaggeration in most cases," said Renaud.

Skilled immigrant health care workers and migrants in the field of humanities had the hardest time making the transition into their field once immigrating to Quebec.

The study suggests that immigrants from the Western nations found work most quickly, often within a few months, while immigrants from North Africa and Eastern Europe took an average of 18 months to find employment in their field of expertise.

The hardest challenge was for foreign workers from Latin America and Asia to find skilled employment in their field of specialty.

Renaud, director of the University of Montreal's centre for ethnic studies, has a couple of theories as to why Latin America and Asians have had a tougher time getting an appropriate job.

"Maybe it's a longer time to learn the ways of doing things; the culture, the skills or it could be discrimination," he said.

He said it's difficult to reach firm conclussions because the percentage of immigrants settling in Quebec from Latin America and Asia is tiny.

Renaud said the findings show there's still a need to eliminate barriers, but overall, Quebec is doing a good job choosing immigrants with much needed job skills.