The Credentialing Problems of Foreign Trained Personnel from Asia and Africa Intending to Make their Home in Canada: A Social Psychological Perspective

  • Peter R. GrantEmail author
  • Shevaun Nadin


This study examined the experiences of a sample of skilled immigrants to Canada from Asia and Africa who were currently experiencing credentialing problems (N = 180). Most respondents had advanced postsecondary training and a job requiring a high level of skill prior to emigrating, but many were unable to obtain equivalent work in Canada. In reaction, they took work for which they were overqualified, volunteered, had their qualifications assessed, and upgraded their training. Most respondents were surprised and upset that it was so difficult for them to obtain a suitable job in their profession, and many felt that immigrants were discriminated against by Canadian employers. The policy implications of this “brain waste” are discussed.


Credentialing problems Underemployment Skilled immigrants Integration Human capital Visible minorities 


Cette étude examine les expériences d’un échantillon représentatif d’immigrants au Canada qualifiés, originaires de l’Asie et de l’Afrique, qui connaissaient au moment de l’étude des problèmes de credentialing (N = 180). La plupart des interrogés possédaient une qualification postsecondaire et avaient pratiqué avant d’émigrer un emploi exigeant un haut niveau de compétences, mais beaucoup d’eux n’avaient pas pu obtenir un travail équivalent au Canada. Comme réaction, ils avaient pris un travail pour lequel ils étaient surqualifiés, ou ils travaillaient comme volontaires, ou avaient fait évaluer leurs qualifications ou les avaient améliorées. La plupart des interrogés étaient surpris et vexés qu’il était si difficile pour eux de trouver un emploi approprié dans leur profession, et beaucoup croyaient que les immigrés étaient des victimes de discrimination de la part des employeurs canadiens. Les implications politiques résultant de ce “gaspillage des cerveaux” sont examinées.

Mots clés

Problémes de credentialing Sous-emploi Immigrants qualifiés Intégration Capital humain Minorités visibles 



The research was funded by a grant from the Prairie Metropolis Centre. We acknowledge, with thanks, the support of the Metropolis Project, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and other Federal Government departments, especially Citizenship and Immigration Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research affiliates Prairie Metropolis Centre Psychology DepartmentUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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