Working in Canada

Every year 150,000 temporary residents enter Canada to fill the labour shortages and many more new migrants relocate looking for a new opportunity. While employment opportunities exist across the country, the main employment hotspots are Toronto, Calgary, Montréal and Vancouver. It is worth noting that these cities have the largest populations and therefore there will be more competition for each available position.

As an employee in Canada you have certain rights, including the right to earn a minimum wage and a vacation allowance. The minimum wage varies widely in Canada and is set according to the provincial or territorial law. Current minimum wage rates range from $9.95 – $11.00 with incremental increases over the next few years planned for some provinces.

Most workers have the right to an annual vacation with pay. In British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec, employees must receive two weeks of paid vacation after completing one year with an employer. There are notable differences across the country with respect to entitlements and eligibility and these should be reviewed carefully prior to commencing employment.

What's it like to work in Canada

Canada has considerable natural resources spread across the country. In British Columbia the forestry industry is of great importance, while the oil and gas industry is important in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador. As global demand for oil, potash, coal and base metals increase, these resource-rich provinces will continue to thrive.

Central Canada is Canada’s manufacturing heartland and there has been a solid comeback in Ontario and Québec despite the effects of a high dollar and weak demand. The auto industry in Ontario is home to large manufacturing plants for all the major American and Japanese automobile makers and many parts factories owned by Canadian firms such as Magna International and Linamar Corporation. Central Canada today produces more vehicles each year than the neighboring U.S. state of Michigan, the heart of the American automobile industry.

The service sector in Canada is divided into retail and business services. The retail industry is mainly concentrated in a small number of chain stores clustered together in shopping malls. Business services, which have seen rapid growth in recent years are largely concentrated in major urban centres such as Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver and include financial services, real estate and communications industries.

How do I find employment in Canada?

Finding employment in the province you have chosen to migrate to is most probably one of your top priorities, but how do you secure employment in a country that you are not living in or with no experience of the country’s employment sector?

If you have obtained permanent resident status, having the assurance of a job in your trade or profession will help ease the pressure off your relocation; making your settlement smoother and less stressful. If you are not eligible to apply under one of the visa categories without an offer of employment, securing arranged employment is key to making your move to Canada.

When you start your employment search will very much depend on your eligiblity to apply under one of the visa categories and your own personal needs.

The options are:

1) Find an employer and obtain an employer specific work permit. This will allow you to apply for permanent resident status while you are living and working in Canada as a temporary resident. This option is mainly utilised by those that are not eligible to apply for permanent resident status without a job offer or by those who wish to work in Canada for a period of one or two years.

2) Seek employment when your Permanent Residency application is in the final stages and prior to your relocation.

3) Make your move to Canada as a Permanent Resident and begin your job search.

Whichever option is right for you, B.M.G.’s Careers and Relocation Team can assist you.

B.M.G. is working with many Canadian employers who are unable to find local employees and therefore are now looking to the foreign worker to fill their positions.

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