1. What are survival jobs?
Usually, immigrants coming to Canada bring with them enough money for half a year of living expenses. However, there comes a time when the money runs out, and the job which suits your education and qualifications cannot be found. What can you do? You have two choices. The first is asking the government for financial support and the second is finding any job that will provide you with enough money for your daily expenses. Any job that will give you earnings and help you to survive in Canada is called a survival job. It is better to find such a job in an English-speaking environment, and one that is related to your occupation.
If your occupation is related to working with people, you can choose a survival job in the service sector, for example caring for children, the elderly and the disabled, or a security or custodial job. If you have worked in the commerce field, then look for work in shops, restaurants or cafes. Experts in the field of construction can find a job on construction sites. If your occupation is associated with manufacturing, try to find a temporary trade job in plants, factories, etc.
To find a survival job ask your relatives, friends and acquaintances or look at the classified section in newspapers and on the Internet. In the phone book or on the Internet you can find temporary agencies that offer survival jobs. To work in Canada as a refugee claimant you need a work permit and a Social Insurance Number (SIN) card.
2. What is the minimum wage in Canada?
The minimum wage is the lowest hourly wage that an employer is allowed to pay his or her employees. It varies between provinces and is annually revised. On October 1, 2021, the general minimum wage in Ontario will increase from $14.25 to $14.35 per hour. These figures do not apply to working students, persons who are selling alcoholic beverages, and people offering their services to work at home: their minimum wages are different.
3. I got an assessment of my diploma before immigration. Why should I do it again after arriving in Canada?
Canada isn't the only country which asks immigrants to provide a diploma assessment. It is an international practice developed by UNESCO which is one of the United Nations' commissions. The purpose of diploma assessment in Canada is to determine which Canadian education equivalent corresponds to your foreign education. Diploma assessment made before immigration is used by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Canada to process your status in the country, but after immigrating you have to show your education credentials to an employer to get a job, an educational institution to continue studies, or a regulatory body to obtain a licence, if you have a regulated profession. Sometimes these organizations will not recognize the assessment of your diploma made prior to immigration and will require you to provide a new assessment.
4. Where can I get an assessment of my diploma after arriving?
To determine what Canadian equivalent matches your diploma, you have to contact the International Credential Assessment Service Centre. If you have a regulated profession, contact your regulatory body, which sometimes makes the assessment by themselves. Some Canadian organizations accept foreign diplomas, if they get them directly from institutions that issued these diplomas.
5. How can I obtain a licence to operate a regulated profession?
Licences to operate a regulated profession in Canada are issued by organizations called regulatory bodies. They are responsible for issuing Canadian certificates or licences and each regulatory body has its own licensing procedure. Typically, the licensing procedure involves three steps:
The first step is assessment of your educational credentials. If your educational credentials are insufficient, you will be invited to take additional courses.
The second step is verifying your experience in your profession, both abroad and in Canada.
The third step is licensing exams. You can register for exam preparation courses or use the Bridge Program. All licensing services are paid. In the case that you receive a refusal to get a licence, you can appeal the decision.
6. What should I do if I want to change my career in Canada?
Before you decide to change your career:
•Identify clearly the reasons why you want to change your occupation.
•Decide what kind of job you like most.
•Determine to what job you are best suited.
•Choose a new occupation.
•Acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for a new occupation.
•Acquire the experience necessary for a new occupation.
•Find a job that you like.
7. How can I get Canadian experience?
During a job interview, the interviewer often asks immigrants about their Canadian experience.
There are many ways to acquire Canadian experience in Canada. One way to acquire Canadian work experience is working as a volunteer with no salary. In Canada, the volunteer movement is very active. Working as a volunteer on an English-speaking team, you can significantly improve your English skills, learn business etiquette, gain Canadian experience and find new friends as well.
A good way to gain Canadian experience in your occupation is entering the co-operative program. These programs are offered in many educational institutions and Canadian schools for adults. Programs include three months of volunteer work in your chosen field.
The third way to gain Canadian experience is working in practice firms. Students of practice firms perform the same duties as in real companies, although the results of their work are virtual.
Finally, in Canada, there are a number of organizations that offer internships for periods of 3 to 12 months. For example, Career Edge has links to more than 1,000 employers which offer internships for immigrants. If you accept an internship position, you will be given a real full day job for 4, 6, 9 or 12 months, and you will receive a salary that will be paid by the government, but the employer will get your work for free.
8. What are some guidelines for writing a resume?
A resume, for the purpose of employment in Canada, is neither an autobiography, nor a summary of your working history. It would appear that it is a document which follows established rules and conventions, which you use to convince an employer that you are the only candidate suitable for a vacancy and, therefore, he or she has to invite you for an interview. In Canada, there is no universal resume. As in time you change your interests, skills, education and experience, you have to change your resume as well. If you have several occupations, for each of them you have to make a separate resume. To get your resume to work better, you have to customize it to the requirements of each vacancy. Usually your resume should be one or two pages.
To study the rules of resume and cover letter writing in Canada visit relevant workshops and get individual advice by arranging a meeting with an employment consultant who will help you to improve your resume.
9. How should I prepare for a job interview?
An interview is a meeting with an interviewer, who is usually a representative of the company where you want to work. The interviewer's goal is to determine if you are qualified for an existing vacancy and your goal is to convince the interviewer that you are the best candidate.
Often to get a job you have to pass three interviews. The first interview is usually called the screening interview; it is usually held over the phone where you have to answer questions from somebody from the human resources staff or the hiring manager. At the second interview you will meet with the head of the department. Their questions will be more detailed and more information will be provided about job duties. During the second interview, the interviewer will decide whether you will be able to handle the potential job and whether you will fit into the work team. Sometimes the interviewer will ask you to write a test. If the second interview goes well, you can be given a third interview. At the third interview you can talk with the leadership of the company or department, who will clarify your position, your responsibilities and assign you a salary. If the third interview is successful, you will get a job offer. Sometimes, especially for low skills jobs, only one or two interviews are held before hiring candidates.
To prepare for the interview, enrol in an interview workshop at the nearest employment resource centre.
10. Where can I find ads in the visible job market?
Published ads about vacancies, which are available to all job seekers, are referred to as the visible job market. The main source of information on the visible job market is the media: newspapers, magazines, and of course, the Internet. However, you should to know that the visible job market in Canada contains about 20% of all job vacancies. The remaining 80% of vacancies are not published and together, they are called the hidden job market. You can find many visible job market ads in local newspapers in special sections called Classified or Career. There are many great opportunities to find a job in the visible job market available through Canadian job search engines on the Internet.
11. How do I find vacancies in the hidden job market?
Many employers don't want to hire people "from the street" and don't publish ads in the media about their vacancies. They are seeking new workers by asking their employees, friends, relatives, acquaintances and employment agencies.
The main methods of finding work in the hidden job market are:
•Networking, which mean using your friends and business contacts.
•Contacting companies that fit your profile, even if they do not publish vacancy ads. Visiting such companies, sending your resumes and making cold calls.
•Contacting employment agencies and recruiters.
•Visiting job fairs.
•Sending your resume to Internet resume banks.
12. How do I find an employment agency?
There are over 4,500 employment agencies and recruiters in Canada. Sometimes they also called head-hunters and search firms. If you are searching for recruiters visit https://upcity.com/ca/hr/recruiting and find out the geographical area recruiters serve, and the sort of professions in which they specialize. Usually the recruiter will represent you to the employer and will advise you on how to behave during the interview.
After the interview the employer will call the recruiter about his decision and the recruiter will inform you about his results. It is believed that to succeed you need to keep in contact with several employment agencies.
13. How can I work as a tradesperson?
If you are a tradesperson, first of all, define the status of your occupation: is it regulated or unregulated? Also, find out whether you need a Canadian certificate. You must contact the nearest apprenticeship office, to arrange a meeting with a training consultant. In Toronto you can call 416-326-5800 to make an appointment. A consultant will review your documents and let you know whether you can be admitted to an exam to obtain a Canadian certificate. If your education and experience is consistent with Canadian requirements, you will immediately receive a Letter of Permission, which is equivalent to a temporary certificate, and you can work for 90 days.
If your documents aren't consistent with Canadian requirements, you will be prompted to enter the Apprenticeship Program - a program of training in the workplace, where you will get the additional training. If you have a non-regulated occupation, the employer is not obliged to request a certificate. He may ask you to demonstrate your skills in a practical setting.
14. Who can help newcomers find a job?
All Canadian cities have employment centres to assist people to find a job. They are funded by the government, the public or charitable organizations. However, you should not have illusions: these centres do not offer jobs. If you are looking for a job, they will explain to you in detail how to find a job in Canada. They will introduce you to the Canadian labour market, explain what methods are most effective for job searching, how to write a resume, pass the interview and discuss salary. If you decide to change your occupation, they will advise you where to go to learn and you will be told how to acquire Canadian work experience. There are special centres and programs for newcomers. Services at these centres and their programs are usually free, but they have some limitations. Find the nearest employment centre and determine whether you are eligible for its services.
15. Where can I get financial support if I cannot find a job?
Many immigrants are familiar with this situation: the money brought with you to Canada has run out and a job, for various reasons, has not been found. Can newcomers get some financial assistance during the period of learning English, preparing for the job search and searching for a job? Yes, certainly. Such assistance in Ontario can be obtained from an organization called Ontario Works. If you are still unemployed after six months of living in Canada, you can apply for financial assistance. The amount and duration of benefits depends on your particular situation: family size, number and age of children, the assets that you have (for example, your house or car), the value of your bank account (no more than $2,500) and payments that you already getting. The average financial assistance for a single person is about $1,000 per month plus reimbursement of certain costs of treatment. Spend the money you brought to Canada carefully and keep the receipts. This will be useful if you decide to apply for social assistance. People with an illness or disability can get assistance from the Ontario Disability Support Program. You can also use this program if you have reached the age of 65 and cannot find a job because of your age and you don't have any other income.
16. How can I get employment insurance?
If you lose your job, you may be entitled to Employment Insurance (EI). The amount of EI depends on the reasons why you lost your job and how much time you worked in Canada. In Ontario, you'll get 55% of your salary, but no more than $501 per week. For low-income families there may be additional payments. The duration of benefits ranges from 14 to 45 weeks, depending on the time you worked in Canada and the situation of unemployment in the province.
After losing a job, visit the nearest Service Canada Centre immediately. You will fill out an application and have an interview with an employee of the office. The main documents that you are required to present are your Social Insurance Number (SIN) card and Record of Employment. If your SIN begins with the number 9, it means that you are a foreign temporary worker, and you must also show a work permit.
17. What should I do if I want to be self-employed?
Open the Classified section of the newspaper and you can find a lot of ads which offer various services. These people are called self-employed. Self-employed jobs have a lot in common with a small business: you are the owner of your business; you organize this business, invest money and look for clients. The difference between being self-employed and running a business is that you are at the same time the owner and the only employee. How can you run a self-employed business? Take some courses and seminars that are regularly held in the business centres, employment centres and city libraries, where you can ask questions about your type of business.
18. What should I do if I want to open my own business?
If you decide to become an entrepreneur, in many Canadian libraries you'll find books, magazines, videos and audio tapes about how to conduct small business. Seminars on small business operation are conducted at many business centres. Many workshops are offered by Enterprise Toronto in the GTA. In addition, similar seminars are held by the Canada Revenue Agency, the organization that controls the payment of taxes by all citizens of Canada.
19. Where can I find information about Canadian labour laws?
The main law governing labour relations is the Canadian Employment Standards Act (ESA). Employment centres conduct regular seminars to familiarize people with the basic provisions of employment standards, answer questions and give advice related to specific situations. The Employment Standards Act defines the level of minimum wage and overtime payment procedure as well as the order of payment under disability caused by an occupational injury or disease, and establishes working hours and holidays, paid holidays, and the rules governing the dismissal of employees.
20. Where can I find sources of additional information about employment in Canada?
We recommended the following sources about employment in Canada:
What career strategies should I consider?
Job Bank Canada https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/home
Map Your Career https://www.theworkingcentre.org/link/41
21. Are there any Canadian sources in other languages?
Translated Information https://settlement.org/translated-information/