Recession hit hard, recovery came slow for immigrants

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY and TAVIA GRANT

As employment grows with a reviving economy, so does the unemployment gap between the country’s highly educated newcomers and their Canadian counterparts.

Among university graduates, recent immigrants were hit hardest by the recession, and new research shows they’re still at a disadvantage compared to Canadian-born university grads as the job market picks up.

The employment gap between newcomers and people born in Canada is greatest among those with the highest credentials and educational backgrounds, according to a Community Foundations of Canada report to be released on Tuesday.

Continue reading

Failure to tap into immigrants’ skills costs billions

Thursday, June 10, 2010
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

In Nigeria, he helped design the athletes village for Abuja’s All-Africa Games.

But three years after moving to Canada in 2007 with a pregnant wife and big dreams, Yisola Taiwo has yet to land his first architecture job. His wife, Bunmi Sofoluwe-Taiwo, still hasn’t been able to find work after leaving her career with the Lagos government.

“Last year was terrible,” Mr. Taiwo said. An internship ended; he spent more than a year on employment insurance and working for no pay at a Toronto architecture firm.

In May, he started a two-month contract at the Diebold Company of Canada, working with architectural drawings to design building security systems in Mississauga. It’s not a bad gig, but he longs for something in his field.

The Toronto region has long boasted about its role as Canada’s diversity hub. But Toronto is doing a worse job of integrating immigrants than it was two decades ago, and it’s costing the economy estimated billions of dollars a year, according to a report being released Thursday by the city’s Board of Trade.

Continue reading