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Title: Migration and economic integration : the impact of the implementation of Canada's Federal Skilled Worker's Program on the lived experiences of highly skilled visible minority : rhetoric and realities
Author: Anderson, Helen O.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 8621
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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In this study, I utilise a race-based methodology through the lens of critical race theory, to interrogate the lived experiences of highly skilled visible minorities who are recently "landed"1 immigrants to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I also employ critical discourse analysis to scrutinise the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) 2001 in its many guises to expose and challenge the hidden ideology behind its language, and text. This study highlights the interface of skilled immigration, racialisation, foreign education and economic integration. The argument is made that systematic discrimination rooted in historical and structural perception of visible minorities2 as the “Other”, and the normativation of racialisation (past and present), is a contributory factor in employers’, institutions and licensing associations’ devaluation of foreign credential and international work experiences. During this qualitative race based research, I undertook several in-depth semi structured interviews of highly skilled visible minority immigrants. A combined narrative/life history inquiry approach shaped the resultant data gathering and enables the voices of the participants to be heard. The life history approach allowed the study participants to discuss not only themselves, and their lives, but also the social, economic and political spaces that they inhabit, thus communicate how structure and agency intersect to produce the circumstances of their lives. This study uses life history narratives to map their migratory and immigration process before, during and after their arrival in Canada. The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) of Canada is based on the embodied human capital of migrants. Canada actively recruits immigrants with the rhetoric that Canada needs their skills. Over half of Canada’s annual immigrants enter as Highly Skilled through the Economic Classes Part Six Regulation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act 2001. Many immigrants, particularly visible minorities, find their skills, education and prior professional experiences undervalued. Upon arrival, these immigrants encounter a variety of credential assessments and qualifying examinations; these are varied depending on the province they have chosen to call their new home. Frequently, these skilled immigrants find that access to professions and trades are barred through unregulated licensing and registration requirement, institutional biases, perceived fluency of language as well as the subjective and oft requested but elusive, ‘Canadian experience’. The work documents and examines the institutional, political, ideological, social and economic obstacles encountered by the research participants through the implementation of the Federal Skilled Workers program, and how they have had to adapt to the circumstance they find themselves in. The study agrees with Gillborn, (2005), that " the most dangerous form of 'white supremacy' is not the obvious and extreme fascistic posturing of small neo-Nazi groups, but rather the implicit routine privileging of white interests that goes unremarked in the political mainstream" (p.485). This research also makes uses of critical discourse analysis to dissect policy rhetoric and jargon. Its aim is to discover the truth behind Canada’s expansive, supposedly colour-blind, meritocratic skilled immigration policy, bolstered by participants’ own words as spoken. The study offers a number of suggestions to overcome/mitigate these barriers in general and for visible minorities in particular.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor ; HM Sociology