New Canadians: Bosses Need to Step Up Diversity Programs

Newcomers finding diversity policies aren't working

TORONTO, Feb. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - Despite their good intentions, Canadian employers have been slow to embrace diversity.  A new study of Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs) found that fewer than half (49 per cent) work in companies that have policies welcoming new Canadians.

The 5th annual research study of IEPs and local employers was commissioned by the Progress Career Planning Institute (PCPI).

"While employers recognize the value of hiring new Canadians in our global economy, we're finding workplace diversity and recruitment policies lack the bite needed to really make a difference," said Silma Roddau, President of PCPI. "IEPs recognize they are responsible for learning about the Canadian workplace, but employers also need to do more to welcome new Canadians and workers from different cultures."

The study, "PROGRESS: IEPs' Experience Matters", focuses on the experience of mid-career IEPs, or those with six to 15 years experience in the workplace. A total of 560 IEPs were surveyed, of which 238 are employed and 322 unemployed. A total of 24 Toronto region employers in small, medium and large, public, private and non-profit sectors were also surveyed. The study found that IEPs and employers have different views on how well diversity programs are working:

  • 34 per cent of working IEPs said their employers do not have the resources to address workplace cultural and new Canadian issues.

  • 71 per cent of employers say their diversity programs have been successful or very successful.

  • Only 45 per cent of employers have a method of assessing credentials, including interviews, testing, World Education Services (WES) demonstration of skills and background and reference checks.

The study also found that the more regulated the industry the more likely IEPs were to find work. For example, credentialed health care workers were twice as likely to find work in their fields compared to workers with business, finance and administration backgrounds.

The study was released at the 9th Annual 2012 Internationally Educated Professionals Conference hosted by PCPI and funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The conference is designed to bring together IEPs, regulatory bodies and associations, government, businesses, and accreditation organizations to discuss strategies and provide tips on integrating IEPs into the workforce. This is the largest networking event of its kind - attended by over 120 business leaders and over 1,000 IEPs from 100 countries, as well as industry experts to share their successes and strategies in integrating IEPs into Canada's workforce.

About Progress Career Planning Institute: PCPI is a business-focused, not-for-profit organization that offers career development services for people to realize their full potential. The Annual Internationally Educated Professionals Conference is a key component of its work.

To learn more about the IEP Conference visit http://www.iep.ca

SOURCE Progress and Career Planning Institute

For further information:

Amanda Galbraith, Playbook Communications, amanda@playbookcommunications.com
Cell: (416) 710-3211

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