Barriers to foreign credential recognition, access to regulated professions and successful integration into the Canadian labour market

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Abdul-Karim, Abdul-Bari
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Using the master data file of the 2011 Census of Canada National Population Survey, this thesis addresses a long-asked question: are foreign trained immigrants in the regulated professions less likely to be working in their field of study than their Canadian-born counterparts? The findings of this study indicate that although foreign trained immigrants have higher educational qualifications than Canadian born, they are significantly less likely to work in regulated professions that match their field of study (29.6%) compared to Canadian-born and foreign-trained (57.6%) who are working in the field for which they were trained. We would expect if our economy was truly meritocratic, that Canadian-born and Canadian-trained workers (54.5%) would be as likely as Canadian-trained immigrants (35.4%) in accessing regulated profession that commensurate their trained field. Newcomers working in health fields are the most likely (63.2%) of all immigrants to be working in their chosen profession, compared to immigrants working in other fields (25%). Among Canadian-born Canadian-trained workers in the health profession, 84% are working in the health fields, compared to 48.5% of Canadians working in other fields. This research uses Critical Race Theory to explain why this inequality happens, by discussing the role of institutionalized racism in immigrants’ labour market outcomes. This research also makes reference to Human Capital Theory because of its predominant use in Canadian immigration research. It provides useful framework in explaining the effects of one’s place of education on her/his labour market outcomes.
Foreign credential recognition, Regulated professions, Canadian labour market outcomes, Internationally-educated immigrants, Office of the Manitoba fairness commission