In the coming years many Canadian businesses will be facing one of the biggest challenges to prosperity and productivity: lack of a qualified workforce. This is due to low birth rates and baby boomers  beginning to retire.

It is predicted that within a decade or so 33 percent of the new positions will have to be filled by newly arrived immigrants.

According to Ekos Research Associates, almost half of the businesses are reluctant to hire new foreign trained workers due to difficulties in assessing their foreign credentials. Some of the challenges are evaluating their work experiences, education credentials and language skills.

Several years ago the Canadian  government set up a Foreign Credential Referral Office which a large percentage of the businesses have never heard of including many immigrants. It is believed that only about 10 percent of the immigrants are taking advantage of the existing pre-assessment before they come to Canada.

The federal government has to do a better job not only promoting this agency to businesses, but also to the new immigrants. Currently a large number of professional immigrants such as doctors, engineers end up working in a professions which they were not trained in. This is a huge loss not only for the professionals but also to the Canadian economy.