SkillsInternational.ca is an on-line, searchable database of candidate profiles that is dedicated exclusively to profiling the skills of immigrant job seekers in Ontario. The first of its kind in Canada, this tool unites pre-screened, internationally trained individuals with employers who need their skills. It is cost effective, efficient and easy to use.
Employers who are recruiting for current openings or who are always interested in a particular skill set can use SkillsInterational.ca to help fill their labour market needs. SkillsInternational.ca connects employers directly with immigrant job seekers in Ontario who are qualified and assessed as work ready by professional employment preparation staff. This tool is particularly useful to employers specifically seeking to embrace cultural diversity in the workplace.
Employers can perform three levels of searches: Basic Search - this is a key word search that matches against key words listed in candidate profiles.
Advanced Search - SkillsInternational.ca uses licensed technology from Burning Glass, the world's most advanced solutions for matching candidates and jobs. The Advanced Predictive Matching? platform goes well beyond matching key words or concepts. Powerful artificial intelligence analyzes candidates skills and experience in context and evaluates how likely a job is to fit a candidates career path. In seconds, a free-text position description can be analyzed against the profiles on SkillsInternational.ca and those most suited are returned and ranked according to "best match".
In both instances, employers can then view the candidate profiles of the matches their search has returned.
Perpetual Search - this is a Position Description that is stored in Advanced Search mode, confidentially, by the employer. After the initial matching is complete, the employer continues to be notified (via email) whenever a new candidate profile is uploaded to SkillsInternational.ca that meets a minimum matching threshold. Notably of use to employers who are always on the lookout for a particular or unique skill set.
Candidate profiles include common resume headings such as: objective, education, work experience, volunteer experience, hobbies and interests, languages, professional skills and certifications, publications, technical skills and references. Additionally, each individual profile has the capacity to store an audio/video clip, scanned documents such as education certificates and degrees, education equivalency assessments, regulatory body correspondence, eligibility for employment enhancements such as Job Connect, Work Experience Placement, Targeted Wage Subsidy etc. Agency staff working with the candidate can also add their own personal reference for the candidate.
SkillsInternational.ca will be available to employers after March 10, 2006 . Those wishing to search candidate profiles on SkillsInternational.ca can do so by completing the Employer Registration Form on the site. They will then be contacted to review and sign the Employer Participation Agreement that outlines their commitment to use the candidate profiles for employment purposes only.
Agencies involved in employment preparation for immigrants who wish to profile their clients on SkillsInternational.ca will promote SkillsInternational.ca to their local employers.
No. Employers can access the skills immigrants bring with them to Ontario by completing Basic and Advanced Searches at no cost upon registration and signing of the Employer Participation Agreement. Value added features will have a nominal annual fee and include the opportunity to create perpetual positions that are matched against all current and future profiles, ability to create an electronic hiring committee that can review and comment on matched profiles in a collaborative format.
Employers connect directly with the client to arrange for an employment interview or contact the Agency Contact Staff assigned to the candidate.
None yet. SkillsInternational.ca has been in development since the summer of 2004 and will be launched at 11:30 am on Friday, March 10, 2006. Employers will have the opportunity to register with and use SkillsInternational.ca once launched. We expect to have more than 100 employers registered by September 2006.
To be profiled on SkillsInternational.ca, internationally trained individuals must work with an immigrant serving agency that specializes in connecting newcomers to the labour market. The Agency staff will confirm that clients are work ready, with no barriers to employment and with minimum English language skills (Canadian Language Benchmark 7 or higher). Only newcomers who meet these minimum criteria will be profiled on the site by the Agency. Candidates cannot post their own profiles on the site.
The site has been populated with candidates from the three collaborating agencies in time for the March 10, 2006 launch and contains approximately 400 resumes so far. We anticipate that upwards of 1000 internationally trained individuals in Ontario will be featured by this year's end.
SkillsInternational.ca boasts current capacity for up to 35,000 resumes. However, additional licensing capacity can be arranged as required. The Burning Glass technology used to store profiles has capacity for millions of resumes.
No. Internationally trained individuals who are work ready and who are working with a community based training agency regarding employment preparation in Canada can be featured on the site by their Agency contact staff.
No. All employer position descriptions, searches and activity is confidential. Candidates can see the number of times their profile has been matched to a search but they cannot identify the company that has completed the search.
No. Candidates can view and modify their own profiles only.
The site has been populated with candidates from the three collaborating agencies in time for the March 10, 2006 launch. Phase two will see the site rolled out to Regional Champion Agencies in Northern Ontario, Ottawa, Eastern Ontario, the Golden Horseshoe and the Windsor are.
Agencies who deliver Employment Preparation Programs for Immigrants can complete the Agency Registration Form on the site. They will then be referred to their Regional Champion Agency or contacted to review and sign the Agency Participation Agreement. This outlines their commitment to ensuring that the clients they post meet minimum criteria as work ready (outlined in the agreement) including a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark Level 7.
Not yet. SkillsInternational.ca has been built with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and is currently provincial in scope. SkillsInternational.ca founding partners are actively seeking national roll-out funding to make this a site that profiles all of Canada's immigrant job seekers and sustainability funding from provincial governments.
Agencies pay a nominal sustaining membership fee of $500 annually to profile their candidates on SkillsInternational.ca
No. Agencies can view profiles of their own candidates only.
The resume database and matching technology have the capacity to store and perform searches in more than 15 different languages, including Canadian French. At this time, the site operates only in English but with funding, can easily be expanded to be operational in both official languages.
SkillsInternational.ca is dedicated exclusively to profiling the skills and experience of Ontario's newcomers to help bridge the gap between the skills and experience they bring to Canada and the unemployment and underemployment they experience once settled. Though community based training agencies who work with newcomers in accessing employment in Canada train their clients to actively job search using every method, including registering with popular sites such as Monster and Workopolis, they continue to experience unemployment and underemployment at rates disproportionate to the skills, education and experience they bring (see Backgrounder for more details).
The Ontario Trillium Foundation funded a collaborative of the Waterloo Region District School Board, WIL Employment Connections in London and COSTI, which together created SkillsInternational.ca (see Project History for more detail).
Frequently Asked Questions:
A grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation has enabled the creation of SkillsInternational.ca, a tool that unites pre-screened, internationally educated professionals with employers who need their skills. This on-line tool is cost effective, efficient and the first of its kind in Canada.
The Waterloo Region District School Board, WIL Employment Connections in London and COSTI Immigrant Services in Toronto, formed a collaborative to take this project from concept to creation.
While on-line searchable résumé databases are not new, a site dedicated exclusively to profiling the skills of Ontario's internationally educated professionals did not previously exist.
More than 79 agencies across Ontario who work with immigrants to provide connections to the labour market will be able to post the résumés of qualified, screened applicants who are ready to work in a field related to their education and experience. Employers can perform a variety of searches based on relevant criteria including skills, experience and education to review the résumés of qualified candidates, helping to ease existing and looming shortages.
Internationally educated professionals continue to be underemployed or unemployed in Canada, of particular concern in Ontario where 60% of Canada's immigrants are received. This results in the negative opportunity cost of immigrant professionals working in minimum wage jobs instead of participating in economic growth by working in their more lucrative fields, and in some cases, the cost of social service supports to our immigrant families who want to work.
With the need to attract more immigrants to Canada to ensure continued economic growth and development, it is more important than ever that Ontario establish a strong track record of recognizing the skills of the internationally educated and developing strategies to ensure their full employment in their field or a related field.
Canada is not alone in trying to recruit skilled workers. Many other industrialized nations have joined the rush in using immigration as an economic tool. The reasons for this trend are simple:
The world economy is becoming increasingly global with labour moving more freely between countries, much like capital has already done.
The demographics of industrialized nations are changing (i.e. aging populations resulting in competition for newcomer skills needed to maintain current standards of living).
While immigrant-serving organizations are already linked through sector associations, SkillsInternational.ca unifies this client group under one umbrella, bringing the often overlooked yet much needed skills and experience of Ontario's internationally educated professionals under ONE site.
A study by the Canadian Labour and Business Centre released in August 2003 found that it now takes more than 10 years in Canada before the unemployment rate among immigrants' drops to the level of Canadian born citizens. This is double the time it took 20 years earlier.
A landmark Canadian study released in September 2003 and documented in the very recent Voices for Change in The City of London, found that:
6 in 10 immigrants already working did not work in the same occupational field as they did before coming to Canada.
Finding employment was the area where most immigrants reported difficulty
While 70% found work, 42% of these were still looking for another position
70% of immigrants looking for work identified at least one problem with the process
About three-quarters (76%) of immigrants had a foreign credential (more than a high school diploma)
Lack of Canadian experience and difficulty transferring credentials were each cited by 26% of those who had foreign credentials and reported at least one problem when trying to enter the labour market
Given their gloomy employment prospects, two-thirds of immigrants who already have a university degree intended to pursue further university-level training
In Ontario, the situation is similar. Consider these findings from another recent study on immigrant professionals in regulated fields:
The unemployment rate of internationally educated professionals is over three times as high as other people in Ontario
60% of internationally educated professionals who took jobs unrelated to their training when they first came to Canada held the same job three years later
Less than one-quarter of internationally educated professionals who were employed were working in their exact field, and 47% were doing something irrelevant to their field
In recent years about 225,000 immigrants have come to Canada each year, with a desired target of about 300,000 (or 1% of the population).
In each of the past few years, Ontario has received over 100,000 immigrants from 180 different countries.
The Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) develops a local, web-enabled solution to storing immigrant professionals' résumés in a format that is searchable by employers who need their skills
WRDSB secures funds to document a vision of one, centralized database that boasts the skills and experience of all job-ready, immigrant professionals in Canada; brain-storming this concept continues between the New Canadian Program (a program of the WRDSB) and COSTI Immigrant Services
WIL Employment Connections joins the WRDSB New Canadian Program and COSTI in their passion for this tool and researches possible funding sources to make this dream a reality for immigrants in Ontario
WIL Employment Connections, the Waterloo Region District School Board and COSTI form a collaborative and secure $441,400 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to build and promote SkillsInternational.ca. Dozens of other immigrant serving agencies support the creation of this tool
SkillsInternational.ca goes live on March 10, 2006 at a three site, video media conference