Message from OLIP
The economic integration of immigrants is by any account central to the successful settlement and adaptation of newcomers in our community and by extension the prosperity and vitality of our city. Opportunities for developing social ties and finding routes to self-realization through involvement in community life are enhanced once immigrants find paid positions that leverage their credentials and drive to succeed.
Ottawa is fortunate to attract the most highly educated immigrants of any city in Canada. And, very importantly, our labour force growth largely depends on immigrants. Yet, systemic barriers, biases in our hiring processes, intercultural challenges, and gaps in our education system combine to reduce our capacity to tap into immigrants’ talents. The unemployment rate of recent immigrants in Ottawa is three times higher than that of the Canadian born residents. Moreover, a quarter of university educated immigrants work in jobs that require only high school graduation. The cost of not utilizing immigrants’ skills fully is slow growth in productivity and reduction in our standard of life.
What is being done about this? Recognition of the importance of immigrants’ economic contribution has recently formed the basis of the policies, strategies and plans of all orders of government. At the local level, coordinated planning around immigrants’ economic integration is in course. In this issue of OLIP’s PIN (Partnerships for Integration Newsletter), we are pleased to focus our attention on what is being done in Ottawa about immigrants’ economic integration. Here, you will read about recent changes in Canadian immigration policy, analysis and perspectives on emerging local solutions such as internships, employer engagement, and supports for immigrant entrepreneurs.
In the Honor Roll section, as usual, we will recognize Ottawa’s homegrown good practices. In this issue, we are pleased to bring the spotlight on two key groups in our city who are doing great work in removing systemic barriers that delay immigrants’ economic integration: 1) the Employer Council of Champions; and 2) the Pioneers of Equity, who have launched Ottawa’s first ever Community of Practice on Equity and Inclusion.
News, events, and what is creating a Buzz in Ottawa are also covered in this issue. Here, you will learn more about the first ever Welcoming Ottawa Week (WOW) and the launch of a new and improved Municipal Immigration Portal.
We hope you enjoy reading this 2nd issue of OLIP’s Partnerships for Integration Newsletter; and thank all our partners who have contributed great content in this issue of the OLIP PIN.
Dick Stewart Salimatou Diallo Caroline Andrew Hindia Mohamoud
Chair, OLIP Council Vice Chair, OLIP Council Chair, OLIP Executive Committee Director, OLIP
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The current issue of the OLIP PIN Newsletter focuses on the economic integration of immigrants. The articles feature good practices in the community to remove systemic barriers to access good jobs, such as new local initiatives providing internships, supports for those interested in self-employment, perspectives on the remaining challenges and ways to address them, as well as policy updates from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. News, events, tips…