University and post-secondary educated immigrants moving to Edmonton are caught in a Catch-22 scenario that is preventing many from following their dreams of living in Canada.
“The biggest problem I’ve found when looking for a job is the Canadian experience,” says Ahmad Alzouabi, who moved to Edmonton from Jordan with his wife and three children in January this year.
“No one will hire me if I don’t have that experience, but how can I get that experience if no one will hire me?”
War prevented the Syrian-born 32-year-old from teaching in his country of birth after completing his four-year bachelor’s degree in English and literature, so he worked in Jordan for a year as an English-as-a-second-language teacher before moving to Canada.
Upon arrival, he supplied his degree to International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) — a government branch that assesses educational credentials and compares them to Canadian standards — yet he’s had no luck in his job search.
“Teaching English here may be more difficult because this is an English native speaking country, so it’s not easy,” he says. “Whenever a volunteer opportunity comes up, I immediately volunteer.”