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Posted on June 10 2021

Canada needs people to work in Canada in healthcare more than ever

By  Editor
Updated July 25 2023

Now for some important updates from the job scene in Canada. Even though there was a high demand for healthcare workers in the country owing to COVID-19, the country is still short of thousands of healthcare workers. So, if you are a qualified healthcare professional, you could give it shot to migrate to work in Canada.

Vacancies shot up to an all-time high in the healthcare and social assistance sectors in Canada lately. Towards the end of 2020, there were 100,300 positions vacant in these sectors. This was revealed in a study by Statistics Canada.

The shortage of labor to work in Canada in the healthcare sector has been an issue that has lingered for a long time in Canada. This situation only got worse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A major concern is that as the present population of Canada’s labor force ages, it will become even more challenging to man all the job vacancies in the healthcare sector. Compounding this the dropping birthrate of the country that could have further slipped lower during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canadian province of British Columbia alone had fewer births reported in 2020 when compared to 2019.  Of whatever is known, the preliminary data itself shows a sharp decrease in childbirth. In May 2020, there were just 1,781 new babies born. To understand this scenario, you must know that the birth rate never dipped below 3,000 before 2020 or 2019.


These reports suggest that without high immigration levels to support the growth in the Canadian population, those of the working-age will have to put in their time and money to assist those in the older generations. Also, more seniors translate to the need for more healthcare workers.

First-generation immigrants already constitute close to a quarter of the labor force in Canada. A major challenge for newcomers is the barriers related to credential recognition is becoming a challenge to work in Canada in its healthcare sector.

So, what’s up with Canadian credentials?

A lot of immigrants who work in healthcare support or nursing jobs didn’t arrive in Canada seeking work in the field.

A lot of immigrants working in healthcare support and nursing jobs had made their transition into these jobs after finding it difficult to get work in Canada. Their typical practice was going back to school.

Once they complete their studies, they would find it a lesser issue to fit into the sector as their Canadian credentials would get recognized now.

Those who got their formal training outside Canada often found it hard to make their footing in the healthcare sector. This was because their credentials weren't recognized.

How does a typical immigrant in Canadian healthcare look like?

It was found that immigrants who arrived in Canada as adults were overrepresented in the healthcare sector in Canada. In 2016, 28% of the total workers in nursing support jobs were immigrants. They constituted just 24% of the employed population.

Among those working in healthcare jobs, 22% were immigrants. They had arrived in Canada as adults. They made up just 16% of the total employed population.

Talk about the rising representation of immigrants in the healthcare sector, those from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Philippines, in particular, have significantly increased in number from 1996 to 2016. Close to 1/3rd of the adult immigrants in healthcare support and nursing jobs came from the Philippines.

Most of the immigrants who were willing to arrive in Canada to get employed in the healthcare sector were allowed in Canada under an economic class program. They were treated as the principal applicant.

Half of those who were willing to work in healthcare support and nursing positions were given admission in Canada under a Canada PR program that was specific to caregivers. However, the vast majority who did Canada immigration under the economic class prior to getting jobs in healthcare didn’t have any intention to get employed in these jobs when they were admitted in Canada.

It wasn’t easy for these newcomers to find work in Canada as nursing professionals. 2/3rd of them were overqualified at the time they got a job.

Those from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean were mostly candidates who had completed their education at the highest level in Canada.

The immigrant overrepresentation in the healthcare support and nursing occupations has the rise in migration from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Philippines to cite as a reason for. Besides, there was a stable growth in immigrants from the Caribbean working in healthcare. This has been the case for many decades.

Clearly, this overrepresentation stems from reasons still not clear. The reason for this is that there haven’t been a lot of studies done on it. What’s known is that the connection between immigrants and Canada’s labor market varies by place of origin of the immigration and gender.

The findings made by Statistics Canada in this particular study raise questions as to the factors that motivate some immigrants to transition to nursing and healthcare occupations after arriving in Canada.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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