Ukrainians in Canada: workplaces are welcoming, but newcomers are overqualified – National

Viacheslav Samsonenko would wish a minimum of two years of expertise to work as knowledgeable engineer in Canada.

So, like many newcomers, he signed up for a job under his {qualifications} and is working exhausting to maneuver up.

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Samsonenko, who moved to Canada final Might after fleeing the warfare in Ukraine, knew twenty years of labor expertise in the sphere wouldn’t be related in Canada.

But he managed to search out work in the identical trade inside a month of arriving in Canada.

“I’m glad to be right here in Canada (and) do my favorite work,” stated Samsonenko, who has been working as an estimator for a British Columbia-based mostly building firm.

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He stated it wasn’t exhausting discovering a job in his most well-liked trade but it is going to be some time earlier than he turns into knowledgeable civil engineer in Canada — requiring him to write down a collection of exams and proceed gaining expertise.

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Samsonenko’s state of affairs isn’t distinctive. Folks working in immigration say newcomers typically battle to land significant jobs that are in line with their {qualifications} or earlier work expertise.

“It boils right down to the dearth of Canadian expertise (for a lot of employers),” stated Darrel Pinto, employment director at Jumpstart Refugee Expertise, a refugee-led non-revenue group serving to newcomers discover related jobs.

Newcomers typically really feel they get screened out of alternatives, he stated. The shortage of sentimental expertise and cultural integration are among the many largest issues in terms of employers accepting newcomers into professions, he added.


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The equivalency of training credentials is one other barrier that employers need assistance understanding.

Pinto stated employers fail to acknowledge that some international universities “far exceed the standard of graduates than our personal Canadian universities.”

“Many newcomers inform me that the USA is way extra open and welcoming to their variations in comparison with the Canadian market, which is just a little bit extra closed,” he stated.

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Viktoriia Kulakovska moved to New Brunswick final August after fleeing the warfare that reached her hometown in Odesa, about 475 kilometres south of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

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Kulakovska and her husband, each certified as attorneys, have been operating their authorized agency in Ukraine. Quickly sufficient, she came upon her regulation diploma was not acknowledged in Canada. As a substitute, she landed a finance job by networking.

She stated her husband has been going to English courses in Fredericton and can also be making ready for a profession shift. He’s contemplating turning into a taxi or truck driver.

She stated she sees lots of alternatives to strive new issues in Canada, but acquiring one other regulation diploma may not be possible for her and her husband.

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And that’s the case for a lot of immigrants to Canada.

A report this week from the Royal Financial institution of Canada signifies that regardless of immigrants being youthful and higher educated, they’ve a more durable time than Canadians discovering jobs that match their {qualifications}.

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Nevertheless, Pinto stated the expertise of Ukrainians coming to Canada after the Russian invasion final yr is completely different from different waves of refugees.

The federal government responded innovatively to the disaster in japanese Europe, stated Pinto.

“That made it a softer touchdown for them after they arrived in Canada.”

Quicker timelines to course of open work permits beneath a particular program, sooner resettlement companies and elevated help in touchdown jobs in the group labored properly for the Ukrainian newcomers, which he stated may additionally change into a template for future newcomers from different international locations.

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Patrick MacKenzie, CEO of the non-revenue Immigration Employment Council of B.C., agreed.

MacKenzie recalled a current case when a Ukrainian landed a job at a Vancouver bakery earlier than even coming to Canada. “He simply must get right here now.”

“Ukrainians are being welcomed into the office, and employers are discovering that they’re contributing actually rapidly,” he stated, including the upper degree of Canadians’ consciousness concerning the warfare in Ukraine may additionally play a task.

“I hope employers will take that lesson and apply it extra broadly to all newcomers to Canada in order that we will make headway on the underemployment that we see so many immigrants face,” he stated.

Since March 2022, the Canadian authorities has obtained greater than 860,000 purposes from Ukraine, and near 170,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Canada, the federal government website exhibits.

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But language continues to be the largest barrier, notably for skilled jobs, stated Kael Campbell of Victoria, B.C.-based Crimson Seal Recruitment Options.

Some recruiters, nevertheless, are beginning to problem the Canadian expertise narrative, he stated.

“There’s both work expertise or there’s not,” Campbell stated.

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With the newest Ukrainian wave, Campbell stated recruiters are working to coach Canadian employers concerning the alternative the newcomers are bringing to the desk.

“(We’re) encouraging employers to be open to hiring Ukrainians and to sharing the information that they’ve.”

This story was produced with the monetary help of the Meta and Canadian Press Information Fellowship.

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