International students struggle to find work in New Brunswick after graduation: report – New Brunswick |

Mismatch between the education sector and the work world?

A new report by the Saint John Newcomers Centre and the New BrunswickMulticultural Council outlines some of the difficulties that New Brunswick international students face when getting jobs after their post-secondary education.

Eighty-one per cent of the 200 students surveyed said they wanted to stay in the province after their schooling was completed, but less than 25 per cent will able to stay there due to a lack of available work.

Under current regulations, students have one year to find work before they have to leave.

International students expressed their concerns at a press conference on Thursday, outlining the need for networking and support for current employers. Many students said the one-year timeline could be challenging due to learning curves, like language barriers. Students felt they were at the bottom of the list of job applications when looking for work.

The report’s authors couldn’t place the blame on any level of government for students’ lack of success with finding work. Both agreed that for many New Brunswickers, hiring and working with international students is a fairly new concept, noting that with more time and education.

But when asked, a series of university professors said many of the post-secondary institutions they spoke with lack services — some noting that one full-time employee helps as many as 800 students.

“You can imagine them trying to do the best to their ability, but it’s still not enough,” said Samah El Maghlawy, an instructor with the facility of business at UNBSJ and the lead of pre-employment programs at the Saint John Newcomers Centre.

“Universities should increase — or we should say could increase — partnerships with Saint John institutions like the newcomers centre to help our students,” said Emin Civi, a professor with the facility of business at UNBSJ.

“If there are individuals that come together, and it doesn’t grow, and it doesn’t get institutionalized, it disappears.”

Seventy-eight per cent of the students surveyed have been in Canada for less than two years, with a majority of the students coming from places like Nigeria, China and India. Most of them plan on finding employment through job fairs and internships.

According to the New Brunswick Multicultural Council, international students finding a job tailored to their skillset needs to be prioritized in the province.

“The desire for international students to gain meaningful employment in New Brunswick needs to be explored and promoted,” said Maura McKinnon, the New Brunswick Multicultural Council interim executive director.

“When you look at the numbers as a whole — 120,000 jobs over 10 years — that’s a lot, and international students will play a big role in that.”

Source: International students struggle to find work in New Brunswick after graduation: report – New Brunswick |

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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