Deskilling of Internationally-Educated Immigrants: Critical Evaluation of the Processes in the Foreign Credential Recognition in Canada

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 09:00
Oral Presentation
Abdul-Bari ABDUL-KARIM, University of Manitoba, Canada
Immigration has always played crucial role in the development and sustainability of the Canadian workforce and economy. Estimates suggest that between 60-100% of the growth in the Canadian economy is the result of the labour, taxes and investments that immigrants make (The Ontario Ministry of Finance, 2014). It has been well documented that the majority of those migrating since the 1980s are more highly educated than other Canadians but experience long-term downward social and economic mobility. Immigrants receive comparatively lower rates of return with respect to labour market earnings to foreign educational credentials, despite their higher educational background (Sweetman, McDonald & Hawthorne 2015, Shirpak et al., 2011). Many recently arrived immigrants express disappointment at local employers’ failure to recognize their educational credentials, credit their overseas work experience or accept their English accents, and find it difficult to negotiate the everyday obstacles they encounter. This research examines the job-skills match rates among immigrants working in one of the 31 self-regulated professions in Manitoba, by addressing the questions: what are the processes of recognizing foreign credentials in Canada?, what are the barriers to immigrants’ foreign credential recognition and access to regulated professions in Manitoba?, do immigrants’ labour market outcomes differ by occupation? And, how do immigrants working in self-regulated professions in Manitoba fare in comparison to those working in other provinces?

This research uses Critical Race Theory which provides the most comprehensive arguments in identifying immigrants’ challenges in the foreign credential evaluation processes.CRT explains the role of institutionalized racism in immigrants’ labour market outcomes. This poster uses the most recent censuses of Canada to investigate the processes of foreign credential recognition. This research is necessary because it helps direct policy aimed at addressing inequities in the labour market, and creating evidence-base of knowing if highly skilled workers are in their appropriate professions.