Statistics Canada released its reports on the education level among the workforce in Canada of late.
Canada ranked first among all G7 countries (such as the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Italy, and France) in terms of the share of working age (25 – 64 years) people with a university or college credential or higher. More than half (57%) of labour force in Canada were graduates with a post-secondary degree. If truth be told, the country has led the G7 in labour force credentials since 2006.
Why are Workers in Canada so Educated?
One main reason behind the rising number of Canadian skilled and qualified workers is a robust and globally accredited post-secondary education system, which has proven to be beneficial for Canadians. The strength of the educational sector can be witnessed by its development among citizens of Canada.
39.7% of young women born in Canada, and 25.7% of young Canadian-born men held a bachelor’s degree or higher, with constant growth in the past 10 years. The growth rate of core-aged (25-54-year-old) men with a degree in the last 5 years were compared with the 10 years before that period.
However, there is another crucial reason why the workforce in Canada is more qualified and educated than ever.
The Immigration Effect on the Labour Force
New immigrants and non-permanent residents (work permit holders) made up almost half of the growth in credentialed labour force members between 2016 and 2021. These were not among the holders of a Bachelor’s degree (39.1%) but in higher education certificates such as earned master’s degrees (52.2%) and doctorates (55.8%).
In reality, recent immigrants were highly educated compared to any previous group, with 59.4% holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. It must be noted that Canada remains the most popular destination for international students among G7 nations (with 620,000 present in the country in 2021); the main source of skilled and experienced labour to the workforce after graduation.
Hence, immigrants are a vital addition to the labour force in Canada. However, they are not just by numbers but in terms of skills as well as the knowledge they bring to the Canadian economy. Newcomers are an insightful contributor to the country’s distinction as the most educated labour force among the G7 nations.
Accreditation: A Constant Problem
More than one-quarter of all immigrants holding a foreign degree was overqualified (defined as working in a job usually requiring a high-school education or less). Relatively only 1 in 10 individuals in Canada, or immigrants with a Canadian degree were overqualified in their jobs; a clear characteristic that signifies underutilization of globally educated newcomers. Getting accreditation for foreign education has been an observed-old issue since it had been included in the 2006 census.
IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) has taken the matter on board, dedicating more than $90 million in funding for new projects to help simplify accreditation for globally trained medical professionals, and allow them to work and gain field experience in the country more willingly. Moreover, Canada has reduced hurdles for physicians to Express Entry programs.