How Does Immigration Affect the Workplace?
Posted on 02/05/2016
We constantly hear in the media that immigrants and immigration are a threat to jobs in Canada. We are told that skilled immigrants come here but cannot get the jobs they are qualified for, and end up driving cabs. The two things seem contradictory – does immigration drive unemployment in Canada or are immigrants lured here but then unable to find good work?
The reality is that both images are exaggerated simplifications of a complex situation: there are industries in Canada – the food service industry, for example – where Canadian employers have tried to replace Canadians with cheaper, temporary foreign labour. And there are true stories of foreign doctors coming to Canada only to drive cabs.
But most skilled workers who come to Canada permanently get jobs in their professions or fields and contribute a great deal to both their organizations and society at large. And this is something that should be celebrated because the skilled immigrant brings both tangible and intangible positives to any workplace.
Whatever the skill – be it engineering, medicine, carpentry, etc. – people in different places learn and are taught differently. Skilled immigrants bring different ways of doing and thinking to businesses in Canada. Skilled immigrants are in a unique position to both be able to accomplish their tasks and think outside of the box that exists in their particular field in Canada. Problem solving requires alternate perspectives to be truly effective and skilled immigrants bring different styles of critical thinking to bear on Canadian problems. Canadian employees can learn alternative approaches from working alongside skilled immigrants.
It’s not just in the diverse forms of learning and training that skilled immigrants benefit Canadian employers and their fellow employees. There is a greater value: that of cultural diversity in the workplace. Cultural diversity expands the horizons of both management and employees, not just on a technical level, but on a social and spiritual level, which can lead both to a more exciting workplace and, more importantly from a bottom-line perspective, more of a global attitude. Skilled immigrants can position Canadian businesses to better deal with our globalized work world, whether by providing cultural insight into new markets – or untapped niche markets within Canada – or by offering in-house linguistic and cultural translation of ideas. Skilled immigrants can act as bridges to more customers and more profits.
Skilled immigrants bring value to Canadian businesses, both monetary and cultural. They expand the talent pool of the organization and they make that organization more intelligent, technically and culturally. They are a boon to any business.
If you have a job offer but need an LMIA and work permit, or if you want to turn your work permit into permanent residency, contact our office in Markham. Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant Mary Zhang can help you.