I was happy to see integration to Algonquin territory and indigenous culture related programming in 2014 WOW. Please continue to involve local Aboriginal organisations and…

Linda Manning
WOW 2014 participant, Senior Fellow, University of Ottawa
We are very pleased to have done the “Opportunity Cost of Not Investing in Interpretation” report – it is so important to have clarity on these challenges and…

Hindia Mohamoud, Director, OLIP
Canada has been shaped by people who came from all over the world to build this country. Welcoming Ottawa Week offers a platform for Ottawa residents to celebrate both this…

Alex Munter, Chair of the OLIP Council and President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre
The WOW seminar on immigrant women’s nutrition and health was a step in the right direction towards closing the gap between academic researchers and service providers.

Josephine Etowa
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa
In our city’s history, immigrants have always played an important role. They build our economic prosperity, diversify our culture, contribute to our social vitality.

Jim Watson
Mayor of Ottawa
Welcoming Ottawa Week is wonderful platform to demonstrate our city’s longstanding openness to immigration and commitment to supporting newcomers’ successful integration. …

Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa
All the WOW events that I went to were great – WOW does give a sense of a community trying to improve its attraction and retention!

Caroline Andrew
Professor, University of Ottawa
The target beneficiary of the work of OLIP is the whole community. In this short period we have planted together important seeds for Ottawa’s development.   

Dick Stewart
OLIP Council Chair
The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre is so happy to have joined the OLIP Health and Wellbeing Sector Table. It is clear that OLIP cares about immigrants and refugees and…

Wendy Tang, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
I’m really impressed with the level of energy and commitment around the Health and Wellbeing table and look forward to continuing collaboration between OLIP and OPH.

Marcela Tapia
Ottawa Public Health

Bridging Skills Demand and Immigrants’ Talent

January 10, 2018

Highlights from Ottawa Immigration Forum Session – November 20, 2017

About 65 participants attended the Ottawa Immigration Forum session on Employment: Bridging Skills Demand and Immigrants’ Talent, to discuss challenges and opportunities for addressing employment gaps with immigrant talent.

Warren Creates, Head of Immigration Law Group at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall, introduced the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce report Findings on Talent and Immigrants: Ottawa Business Growth Survey, which presents the findings of a survey on Ottawa businesses’ knowledge of and access to immigrant talent. Creates noted that this research is the first of its kind in Canada to examine the importance and current situation of newcomer employment.

The Ottawa Employment Hub’s Ingrid Argyle presented Ottawa This Quarter: Q3 2017, an overview of Ottawa’s current employment situation, as well as recently released census data on Ottawa’s immigrant population.  She also provided an overview of OLIP’s priorities related to enhancing immigrant employment and linking immigrant talent with employer demand. Participants also viewed short videos on a range of pathways to employment and entrepreneurship.

Participants identified a number of ways to overcome challenges to immigrant employment and create solutions:

  • Draw on partnerships to bring about success in connecting newcomers with employment;
  • Focus on bridging, mentoring, and work placements as pathways to employment;
  • Provide navigators, for example to federal and provincial public service jobs;
  • Remove systemic barriers through credential recognition, affirmative action, revisiting security clearance documentation requirements, etc.;
  • Address systemic discrimination and racism – for example, through diversity audits, and use of anonymous resumes;
  • Examine areas of high demand, e.g. for IT professionals and personal support workers;
  • Consider innovations such as guaranteed basic income to provide people with the opportunity to transition to employment in their fields over time;
  • Support employers’ awareness of immigrant skills and of services that can connect them to immigrant talent.