Labour Market Matching Processes of Immigrants in Canada – Results from Case Studies in the Health and Information Technology Sectors

Tuesday, 17 July 2018
Silvia ANNEN, BIBB, Germany
The Canadian society is characterized by a plurality of immigrants and its migration policy is strongly geared to economic criteria, qualifications and skills (cf. Walker 2007; Guo/Shan 2013). By using a mixed methods approach, the presented project aims to gain knowledge regarding how immigrants to Canada use their foreign qualifications and skills in their current employment. This presentation focuses on the results of qualitative case studies conducted in Canadian enterprises to identify the approaches and methods which employers use to make decisions regarding foreign qualification and skill recognition. The fundamentals and reference points of these decisions and the considered information will be discussed. Furthermore, the underlying reasons for the application of differing approaches and methods, as well as their relations to operational requirements are examined.

The analysis also focuses on how immigrants present and document their foreign qualifications and skills to employers. The selection mechanisms and proposal criteria of further qualification measures by employers and education providers to immigrants are investigated. The analysis incorporates discussion regarding the theoretical concepts of signalling (Spence 1973) and screening (Stiglitz 1975).

Following a maximum variation sampling (Patton 2001), the case studies were conducted in the health and information technology sectors, which vary in their degree of regulation and their occupational requirements. In addition, the analysis considers the geographical differences between Canadian provinces and institutional frameworks. In each case study at least two employees with a migration background and two recruiters are interviewed to gain a multi-perspective analysis. Further, documents regarding relevant organizational structures, recruiting strategies and support measures for the integration of immigrants into the enterprise are analyzed. The results aim to make an empirical contribution regarding the relevance and provision of information in the recognition of foreign qualifications and skills and in doing so to support the stakeholders involved in this process.