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Immigrant skill utilization: Trends and policy issues

Since 1996, the problem of underutilization of immigrant skills in Canada has grown significantly. University-educated immigrants are more numerous, and census analysis shows their access to skilled occupations in the professions and management decline between 1996 and 2006. The decline in access since 2001 coincided with increased program efforts, including foreign credential assessment, bridge training, and others. Policy differences among provinces, or in occupational groups targeted, also have had little impact on aggregate trends. The value (in today’s dollars) of work lost to the Canadian economy grew from about $4.80 billion annually in 1996 to about $11.37 billion in 2006.