Ontario’s new foreign worker rules

We’ve all come across job postings with ludicrous experience requirements (10 years for an entry-level position???), and no one knows that pain more than foreign-trained workers. 

What happened: Ontario will propose legislation that would ban employers in the province from requiring Canadian work experience in job listings. The law aims to remove barriers that foreign-trained newcomers face when entering fields that they’re qualified to work in.   

  • It would expand on a law that comes into effect next month, which bans Canadian experience requirements for 30 occupations, like engineering and plumbing.

  • Ontario also plans to open its immigrant nominee program — which lets it pick some new permanent residents, independent of the feds — to more international students.

Why it matters: If passed, this would be the first legislation of its kind in Canada and could be a model for other provinces to follow. As of last year, 25% of foreign-trained workers were overqualified for their jobs, which was twice as likely as someone with a Canadian degree.

  • This crunch is most acutely felt in the most in-demand sectors like health care, which has rigorous experience and licensing requirements… and 90,000 job vacancies

Yes, but: Even if workplaces can’t require Canadian work experience, that doesn’t mean employers won’t still look for it covertly in the recruitment process, or in interviews. —QH