Trades stigma fading in minority communities

By Chuck Chiang, Business in Vancouver | International students and youth from B.C.’s minority communities may be increasingly warming up to working in the trades, defying traditional perceptions of the sector and potentially providing a much-needed boost to the province’s growing labour shortage. Trades and vocational training institutions around the Lower Mainland are reporting a growing number of international students looking at fields such as heavy mechanical, automotive and automation-related sectors, especially when they compare the labour situation in their home countries (where trades are often not certified and paid as menial labour) with the realities of the Canadian situation. “It is true that international students continue to favour business degrees or other university degree programs, but we are starting to see the number applying to trades programs increase slowly,” said John English, dean of the faculty of applied and technical studies at the University of the Fraser Valley. “Once they learn the culture, the system and the opportunity and the income potential here, they are usually quickly all over it.” Officials say that for immigrant communities whose youth are already well-acclimated Canadian citizens, the idea of trade certification as a viable alternative to a doctoral or master’s degree has long taken root. Brett Griffiths, dean of the school of trades, technology and design at Vancouver Community College, said the days of a trades-program class being predominantly of one ethnicity are long gone. “Generally, the students that we see in the trades are pretty much reflective of the demographics of Vancouver and our school,” Griffiths said. “Our students do come from 40 different countries speaking 30 different languages, and...

Young Immigrants Losing U.S Protections May Look To Canada

By Huffington Post | The White House’s plan to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program could spur thousands of young undocumented immigrants to head to Canada. On Tuesday, the futures of over 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children became a little uncertain after President Donald Trump’s administration announced an end to DACA. “To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest, we cannot admit everyone who would like to come here,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a press conference announcing the decision. Sessions called the decision a result of an “open border policy and the American people have rightly rejected.” He continued, “The nation must set and enforce a limit on how many immigrants we admit each year and that means all can not be accepted.” Immigration lawyer and policy analyst Richard Kurland told Global News that Canada should prepare for a ripple effect as a result of the U.S.’s crackdown on immigration. “It’s really odd. President Trump blamed Mexico for allowing illegal Mexicans entering the United States,” he said, adding Canadian border guards would need a clear plan to handle any possible influx of asylum seekers. Former President Barack Obama was highly critical of the White House’s decision in a scathing post on Facebook. The former president started DACA in 2012 as a way for young immigrants to receive reprieve from the threat of deportation with renewable work permits. Read...

Expo for immigrant women in small business in Toronto

By Canadian Immigrant Magazine | Are you an immigrant women in business? The Immigrant Women’s Small Business Expo (IWSB), which was set to take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on September 17, will now take place at the Daniels Spectrum, a self-proclaimed “cultural hub” just a few kilometres from the original venue. The expo will provide ample opportunity for women to network and learn about business, as it has for the past four years. For a $5 admission fee, attendees can spend the day viewing educational exhibits and attending seminars and workshops with speakers such as Mississauga-Streetsville MP Gagan Sikand and CEO of Chinese Canadian Voice Julie Suen. Topics of discussion throughout the day will include health and wellness, marketing, entrepreneurship and more. Further to these conversations and lessons, the event’s website boasts that those in attendance will be celebrated, enlightened and empowered as immigrant women in business. “We’ve always championed the fact that women matter, and we’ve sought to celebrate all the roles they fill in their family, career and community,” says Dwania Peele, founder of CSBW. “Immigrants, specifically, struggle in Canada’s labour market despite their many skills, and we are more than excited to be in Toronto with this rallying cry of support for immigrant women entrepreneurs across Ontario.” For more information, visit http://toronto.immigrantsmallbizexpo.ca. Read...

Express Entry Reforms in 2016 Led to More Candidates Invited Based on Human Capital Factors

By Canadian Immigration Newsletter | Improvements made to Canada’s Express Entry immigration selection system last November led to far more candidates being issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence based on their human capital factors alone, without needing to obtain additional points for factors such as obtaining a job offer or a provincial nomination. Prior to the set of reforms that came into effect on November 19, 2017, around three-in-five (62 percent) of invited candidates had sufficient point totals under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to receive an ITA based on human capital alone. Over the period from November, 2016 to February, 2017, however, this share increased to 90 percent. This fact is just one of many contained in a presentation that was put together by senior staff at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) last spring. Importantly, the information revealed that more candidates outside Canada, specifically those eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC), were being invited to apply than previously following the changes made last November. It was also found that more candidates in the Natural and Applied Sciences (including STEM occupations) were being invited to apply, with 35 percent of those invited between November and February being in these occupations, up from 28 percent. Meanwhile, the share of candidates in lower skilled occupations being invited decreased from 11 percent to three percent. Informational Technology (IT) workers in particular have benefited from recent changes to Express Entry, with the number of candidates with IT work experience being invited to apply having increased over time. Read...

Former Colombian refugee running for council for Vision Vancouver

By Jeff Hodson, Metro News | A former Colombian refugee will represent Vancouver’s ruling party in the upcoming civic byelection. Diego Cardona will represent Vision Vancouver in the Oct. 14 byelection to replace former councillor Geoff Meggs, who resigned in July to become chief of staff for incoming premier John Horgan. “Vision is the only party that represents my values – diversity and social justice are incredibly important to Vision’s team, and theywork to engage young people in the political process,” said Cardona in a statement issued Wednesday by Vision Vancouver. “I understand the issues that young people face in Vancouver and will be a voice for a more inclusive, progressive Vancouver.” Cardona came to Canada in 2005 as a refugee with his mother and sister, fleeing Colombia after the kidnapping and murder of hisfather by guerrillas. He was placed in foster care after his mother died of leukemia and became his sister’s legal guardian while still in school. Cardona is spokesperson for the Vancouver Foundation’s Fresh Voices, a youth-led group of immigrants and refugees that aims to make B.C. better for young newcomers. He also worked for the Kiwassa Neighbourhood House, managing services for marginalized youth. “Diego’s story is impressive – he has overcome incredible hardship, and now works to make Vancouver a welcoming and inclusive city,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a release. Homeless advocate Judy Graves and anti-poverty crusader Jean Swanson have already announced that they are running in the Oct. 14th byelection. Pete Fry is running for the Greens, while Hector Bremner, Glen Chernen and Penny Noble are all seeking the Non-Partisan Association nod (which...

BC Provincial Nominee Program Tech Pilot

By WelcomeBC | The B.C. technology sector is a major driver of economic growth in the province, with tech employment at its highest level ever recorded. The demand for talent in B.C.’s tech sector is increasing faster than the supply. The priorities for the Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology include establishing B.C. as a preferred location for new and emerging technologies, increasing the growth of domestic B.C. tech companies, and removing barriers to attracting skilled workers. In support of these ministry priorities, a pilot under the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) works to ensure the technology sector can attract and retain the talent it needs to be sustained and to grow the sector further. Why a BC PNP Tech Pilot? A BC PNP Tech Pilot supports the attraction of skilled workers and to satisfy the demand for tech talent by expanding the province’s technology talent pool. We want to develop and attract the highest quality local talent by introducing students to tech earlier, adjusting training and education in post-secondary institutions and creating work experience opportunities. Not only do companies need access to local talent – beyond using the skills and talent of B.C. workers, companies need to be able to attract skilled workers from around the world. Tech entrepreneurs and skilled workers from other leading edge countries can have a catalytic effect on B.C.’s technology sector, leading to more jobs for British Columbians. What does the BC PNP Tech Pilot look like? BC PNP staff work with employers to address their talent needs by providing a fast-track, permanent immigration pathway for in-demand foreign workers and international students....