Monday, May 20, 2024

Unemployment hits Nigerian students, others hard in Canada

Migrants trooped to Canada en masse after the nation opened employment pathways and immigration opportunities to international students.

• April 29, 2024
Nigerian students in UK
Nigerian students in UK used to illustrate the story

A severe unemployment crisis affecting at least one million international students in Canada, including Nigerians, has sparked worries about loose immigration policies that have turned Canada into a sanctuary for migrants and insufficient low-income jobs to go round.

According to Voice of America, photos seen on the Canadian Internet showed crowds waiting in line for a simple cashier job opening, as foreign students lamented the unavailability of jobs that would cater to their financial needs and responsibilities.

Already, international students are limited in the Canadian labour market as they can only work part-time and majorly in low-income jobs. But these jobs have even become increasingly rare to land, a student told the outlet.

“The present affordability crisis in Vancouver, along with the declining job opportunities, is becoming very stressful,” Dhvani Malik, a 400-level student of international relations at the University of British Columbia, told VOA. “International students already pay so much in fees, and the increasing rent and living costs have only added to the financial pressure.”

As of March, according to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate for young people in Canada hit a staggering 12.6 per cent, a red flag signalling that the North American nation may be unable to cope with its rapidly rising population, most of whom were immigrants. 

Aware of the situation, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admitted that the number of temporary immigrants was “something we need to get back under control” while speaking at Dartmouth in Nova Scotia on April 2, according to Global News.

“Whether it’s temporary foreign workers or whether it’s international students in particular, that have grown at a rate far beyond what Canada has been able to absorb,” Mr Trudeau said.

Migrants trooped to Canada en masse after the nation opened employment pathways and immigration opportunities to international students upon completion of their study degrees.

The government, however, seemed unprepared for the soaring cost of housing that was a domino effect of its relaxed immigration policies.

Still, reducing international students will not bode well for Canadian institutions who generate a chunk of their revenue for the exorbitant tuition fees of foreigners.

The government may be torn between shutting its doors to temporary immigrants or allowing its institutions to continue benefiting from the high tuition cost of international students.

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