Home Employment Ontario plans to ban Canadian experience requirement in job postings, applications

Ontario plans to ban Canadian experience requirement in job postings, applications

Ontario plans to ban Canadian experience requirement in job postings, applications

The Ontario government will soon introduce legislation that, if passed, will ban the use of Canadian work experience as a requirement in job postings or application forms. This change would help more qualified candidates progress in the interview process while making Ontario the first province in Canada to include provisions on Canadian experience in employment standards legislation.

The proposed changes would help more internationally-trained immigrants work in the fields they’ve studied and fill labour shortages in in-demand industries. Research has shown that helping internationally-trained newcomers work in the professions they studied for could increase the province’s GDP by up to $100 billion over five years.

Banning Canadian experience requirements would help eliminate systemic barriers facing newcomers

“For far too long, too many people arriving in Canada have been funnelled toward dead-end jobs they’re overqualified for. We need to ensure these people can land well-paying and rewarding careers that help tackle the labour shortage,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.

Two years ago, the Ontario government passed a law that prohibits regulated professions from requiring discriminatory Canadian work experience requirements in licensing for more than 30 occupations, which comes into effect in December 2023.

Earlier this year, the regulatory association Professional Engineers Ontario removed the requirement for Canadian experience from their registration criteria since the government took action.  Professional Geoscientists Ontario recently did as well, potentially helping thousands of otherwise qualified professionals find jobs.

Inclusive labour market legislation and practices – a step in the right direction

Immigrant-serving organizations applaud the Ontario government’s intention to ban Canadian work experience requirements and say that the legislation, if passed, will clear the tremendous backlog of skillful workers and benefit all the major job sectors in Ontario.

“Canadian experience continues to be one the most prominent barriers faced by many newcomers in their search for meaningful employment. Introducing legislation to ban the Canadian experience requirements from job postings and ads is a big leap forward in the right direction to eliminate systemic barriers facing newcomers, and to facilitate pathways to their labour market inclusion,” opines Sara Asalya, Executive Director, Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto.

Tonie Chaltas, CEO, Achēv echoes the sentiment: “We are pleased to see these additional measures being introduced to further address the unfair barriers internationally-trained immigrants face in the job market. Removing discriminatory Canadian work experience requirements is a necessary step towards creating a more inclusive labour force.”

“If we want to attract immigrants to Ontario to fill vacant jobs in a competitive landscape and help meet the needs of our growing economy, we have an obligation to remove the barriers to finding work in their areas of expertise once they arrive in Canada,” says Elise Herzig, Executive Director, JIAS Toronto. “The removal of the requirement for Canadian work experience is a big step forward in ensuring newcomers have the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to our economy and reach their potential. This legislation also speaks to the desire of our regulated professions to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for newcomers,” adds Elise.

Ontario welcomes more immigrants than any other province each year

This year, Ontario will nominate 16,500 immigrants for permanent residence through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) in various critical sectors such as health care and the skilled trades. To ensure the Province is selecting the best candidates available, the government is also proposing changes that would increase the number of international students in Ontario eligible to apply to the OINP by revising eligibility requirements for hundreds of one-year college graduate certificate programs around the province. The Province has also communicated to the federal government that Ontario should have significantly more influence in selecting the economic immigrants coming to Ontario.

The government is also proposing changes to improve oversight and accountability of how regulated professions like accountants, architects and geoscientists use third-party organizations to assess international qualifications to ensure assessments are done in a way that is fast, transparent and fair.

The legislative changes are part of a larger package that will expand on the ground-breaking actions introduced in the Working for Workers Acts, 2021, 2022 and 2023, which will be unveiled in the coming days to protect workers, help them earn bigger paycheques and help newcomers contribute to building Ontario.

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