Priority 3: Employment
North Shore immigrants have access to employment that matches their skills, education, and experience.
- According to the provincial government’s Labour Force to 2041 study, the number of jobs on the North Shore will increase from 77,000 in 2006 to 110,000 in 2041. 41% of employers surveyed by NSIIP reported a shortage of skilled workers.
- The 2011 National Household Survey reported that 11.2% of recent immigrants on the North Shore were unemployed, compared to 6.2% of the total labour force.
- Only 22.1% of immigrants surveyed by NSIIP reported being employed in their occupational field. Working in positions below their level of education, skills and experience creates financial barriers for immigrants and contributes to feelings of isolation and other settlement stresses.
- Only 2.3% of community service providers surveyed agreed that “newcomers are able to find employment opportunities that use their education, skills and abilities.”
- The majority of employers surveyed were receptive to hiring immigrants but were not aware of or actively using government funded employment services or immigrant services to find them. Over two-thirds of employers surveyed reported hiring recent immigrants through the same process as other staff; e.g. via their networks. Half of the employers interviewed were interested in getting further assistance in recruiting and retaining immigrants.
- 7.8% of immigrant survey participants are self-employed, and the North Shore is regarded as a popular destination for immigrant entrepreneurs.
Objective 1: Increase the understanding of the value of a culturally diverse workforce amongst North Shore employers and community stakeholders
- Conduct a local labour market review identifying labour market demands and distribute findings to immigrant employment service providers, immigrant job seekers and employers.
- Establish strategic partnerships with employer organizations (e.g. North Vancouver and West Vancouver Chambers of Commerce, BCHRMA, IEC-BC, BC Construction Association, etc.) to share information and resources and promote cultural diversity to North Shore employers and community service providers.
Objective 2: Improve coordination of the delivery and promotion of immigrant employment services.
- Develop a “one pager” of immigrant employment programs services on the North Shore; broadly distribute.
- Identify, support and promote opportunities for employers and immigrant job seekers to connect and network.
- Increase awareness of foreign credentialing services amongst service providers, employers and immigrant job seekers.
Objective 3: Collaborate with local business associations and Chambers to develop strategies and practices to attract and include more immigrant business owners and members
- With Chambers of Commerce, build understanding of the specific needs of immigrant entrepreneurs and work with Chambers and Business Associations to:
- Promote their services and the value of membership to the immigrant community
- Identify information or services specific to the needs of immigrant entrepreneurs
- Explore the feasibility of an Immigrant Entrepreneurs Mentoring/Leadership group
- Participated in North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce “Learn at Lunch” series on pathways to hiring and retaining immigrant employees on the North Shore
- Delivered presentation to Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) – North shore chapter regarding inclusive hiring practices
- Updated and shared an info sheet on Immigrants and the North Shore Labour Market
- Participated in entrepreneurship workshop (hosted by Vancity) for immigrants during Small Business Month in October 2019
- Developed a resource sheet for employers on resources to address workplace discrimination
- Piloted a workshop for immigrant entrepreneurs in collaboration with the North Shore Multicultural Society and WorkBC
- Held a networking and educational event for employers and skilled immigrants
- Explored creation of workshops for entrepreneurial immigrants
- Encouraged facilitation of partnerships between local with local professional associations and networks
- Fostered relationships between Chambers of Commerce, local Business Improvement Associations (BIAs) and professional immigrant networks
- Developed and shared an info sheet on Immigrants and the North Shore Labour Market
- Utsav Thakur, North Shore Multicultural Society
- Annie Prud’homme-Généreux, Capilano University
- Kathryn Fitzgerald, Vancity
- Lorelei Phillips, North Shore Multicultural Society
- Patrick Stafford-Smith, North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce
- Stephen Mikicich, District of West Vancouver
- Diana Delgado, WorkBC Centre