You’re Hired! …But Only If You Speak English…
As I mentioned in a previous post, I went to the National Job Fair and Training Expo in Toronto 2 weeks ago to represent my college with 2 of my colleagues. Obviously, there were tons of people looking for jobs, and many others that were looking for study options. Upon speaking to several people throughout the day, my colleagues and I began talking about how many people were actually out of work within the city. The thing is, these people were not always under-educated, nor did they lack experience in their chosen fields. We began talking about why so many people within Toronto and the GTA were out of work; I have no doubt that it’s due to a lack of communication skills.
Now, when I say “communication skills”, I’m not talking about sharing your feelings (who wants to do that in the workplace??) or using the appropriate body language while in a meeting (I always keep my arms crossed for the duration of a meeting – is that bad??), or anything like that; I mean that it boils down to your English skills. Canada, after all, is an English and French speaking country, and if you are not able to communicate in either language very well, it will pose a problem in your job search. The majority of the population that speaks French is located in Quebec, but the rest of Canada generally uses English. Therefore, if there are newcomers that arrive and don’t know how to communicate in English very well, they find it extremely difficult to find a job…no matter their experience or education.
It actually made me so sad to see so many talented people looking for work while I was at the job fair. They were extremely intelligent and had years of experience, but ended up unemployed after trying to find a job in Canada; some had been looking for work for the better part of a year. I decided that I would do just a bit of research on the matter and found a study that Statistics Canada rolled out a short time ago that stated that, “Newcomers generally have good conversational language skills when they arrive in Canada. However, many employers say that newcomers often have to improve their language skills specifically for the workplace”.
So, although many newcomers are able to speak the language and communicate, it is only to a certain degree; they are not proficient enough to excel within the workplace.
I then found another article that Stats Can released that stated “immigrants who use language other than English or French are more often found in less skilled occupations”. As disturbing as that may be to read, it is an accurate statement that reflects the need for newcomers to learn an official language in order to succeed within the Canadian workforce. Unfortunately, there are so many immigrants that arrive in Canada who have incredible experience and superior education, but are unable to land a proper job due to their lack of communication skills. And, if they are lucky enough to find a job, it clearly doesn’t pay even close to the amount that the candidate deserves; the only thing holding a newcomer back from gaining meaningful employment is their English language skills.
So, if any of you are thinking of immigrating to Canada, or if you have lived here for quite some time and still have not found a job that you know you have the technical skills to do, please look into some ESL (English as a Second Language) training, whether at a school, a college, or a university, so that you may have a leg up on the competition once you arrive.
Filed under: College, English, ESL, ESL Training | 8 Comments
Tags: Canada, Career, College, Education, employment, English, English as a Second Language, ESL, immigrant, immigrate, immigration, job, jobs in Canada, move to Canada, school, statistics, Student, Training