Working in Canada
It’s little wonder that more and more expats are considering working in Canada; the nation not only weathered the global recession that left many other G8 economies in shambles, but since 2009, it’s actually added jobs and made positive growth.
As a country with strong commodity export ties to emerging Asian superpowers, Canada remained stable amidst the thick of the crisis, and is still, as in the past, looking for foreign workers to fill skills shortages in key industry sectors.
Additionally, as a land built with the picks and shovels of immigrant labour, Canada has a history of welcoming foreign expats into the nation.
Thus, those with commendable industry experience and a degree of specialisation will find that there is a fair amount of working opportunities in Canada, particularly in Alberta’s oil patch.
Furthermore, experts anticipate that the manpower associated with the local baby boomer generation will be depleted in coming years, and thus Canada will find itself in an even more desperate situation to entice highly-skilled workers and even migrant labourers to relocate to within its borders in order to sustain the expanding, dynamic economy.
Though Canada is often brushed off as a country that thrives due to its abundant possession of natural resources (forestry, fishing and oil and gas), in actuality these industries are not nearly as important as the big business that has come to rule the manufacturing and service industries.
More explicitly, within Canada’s urban centres, expats may be able to find positions in the financial services, real estate, and communications industries, all which have been growing in recent years. Canada even claims just less than 70 of the world’s largest companies, according to a study conducted in Forbes in 2008.
All things considered though, expats moving to Canada from the UK or the US should expect lower wages. Not to mention, a great deal of your monthly salary will go to taxes in Canada. Do note though, that Canada’s urban centres are consistently voted among the best places to live in the world, so a slightly lower income should not affect your quality of life.
Expats considering working in Canada will need either a permanent residence permit or a temporary work visa to do so. In the past, immigration policies more pointedly supported the push to allow foreign workers in the country to resettle for life, but recent changes have put more of an emphasis on enticing temporary workers to the nation who can fill positions that locals cannot. Expats who arrive to work in Canada with temporary work visas cannot apply for permanent residence through the federal system until they obtain provincial consent.
Finding a job in Canada
Canada takes pride in its strong infrastructure and well-maintained systems of support, and thus it comes as no surprise that that there are a variety of resources available aimed at helping individuals find a job.
Before expats start their search though, it’s important to recognise that the job market in Canada may not only be very different from that of your homeland, but that different provinces in Canada may demand different skill sets. For example, in Quebec, it may be expected that you have some French language knowledge, and overall, it may be necessary to make sure your qualifications are recognised in the nation (ie. Nurses and doctor qualifications).
Once you’ve answered these questions, expats can start by perusing the government-run online portal Job Bank, which allows individuals to look through listings based on areas within each province and on job category.
Additionally, other Internet listings, like Monster.ca and CareerJet.ca, can also be a good source of leads.
If you already know in which province you’d like to be based, the search can become that much more particular, and you can start consulting the “Jobs” or “Classifieds” sections of local newspapers, and researching the prospect of attending many of the regularly scheduled job fairs.
Furthermore, don’t underestimate the value of networking, and of taking advantage of the newcomers associations in each province.