I arrived here a couple of weeks ago and I think that Canada is working out a bit different than I had expected. I think coming from recession hit Ireland , Canada had been marketed as the mecha of jobs and prosperity.
From my first month here on the U35 programme I can only say this is not the case.
I come from an IT background with over 8 -9 years of software engineering in Java, Python and some project lead / sys analysis thrown into the mix. In Ireland I was fairly lucky in that there still appears to be quite a few job opportunities.
Over this side of the pond its a bit more complicated.
I started in Toronto and then move to vancouver. There definitely appears to be more job opportunities in Toronto than vancouver right now.
Talking to local canadians, I was told that in vancouver they have seen some of the highest rates of unemployment in years and that the economy here is hurting post olympics... in many ways just as bad as Ireland. They are seeing double digits unemployment now.
A lot of people moved to vancouver to work and be involved with the winter olympics. Quite a few of these people decided to stay after the olympics had finished to get work. Simply put there is an oversupply and not enough demand even in traditional service sector jobs (starbucks , mobile phone stores etc..).
Last week I attended a jobs fair in North Vancouver. 8 companies were present in a tiny building. You are brought in in groups of 10. Companies here do not accept c.v's but instead refer you to their websites... so if you arrive in canada and are tempted by the jobs fairs... don;t bother joining the 3 -4 thousand (literally) people waiting to get in (of all ages from high school to your grandparents age). Find out which companies are showing and visit their websites and avoid the frustration of a 3 hour wait around two blocks only for companies not to accept c.v's when you get in the door. I have met architects, engineers, construction workers, solicitors , IT, pretty much lots of Irish people here from different professions who I would imagine would back up what I am saying.
Today there is another jobs fair on granville street (kind of the center of downtown vancouver). Again there is a queue from 1pm stretching around 2 blocks with people waiting to get into the WYCA center.
I hope I am not scaring people or putting people off. I just felt that since I had gone over with the delusion that I could travel, enjoy myself and make some money on the side I would share my experiences.
Canada (in particular vancouver) is extremely expensive. Living costs are very very expensive. Go to the safeway on robson street and compare the price of a bagel with what you would pay in tesco's back home and you will see what I mean. The same goes with basic cloths.
So if you are coming over, make sure you have a LOT of money to keep yourself going while waiting/looking for work. If you dont have a lot of money saved , i would advise putting off your flights until you can afford to fly over and can afford to keep yourself going for a good bit while you wait for work. Things are only going to get tougher. Colleges are finishing up here in a few weeks with new graduates competing for jobs, J1 equivalents are heading over soon....
All the best,
I can see why you're being negative about it, after your experience. I wouldn't agree with a lot of your observations though.
Van is the most expensive city in Canada, but still there's value to be had if you look. Eg. breakfasts for $3, 18pc sushi for $6. No Frills is cheap, although most supermarkets aren't. In Costco, you can get great value, from buying in bulk.
Fine Dining here is usually $25-30 for a main, which is great for some quality food. The smaller food shops are cheaper. Eg. on Commercial Drive, the general food shops are all a lot cheaper than Safeway etc.
Re: unemployment, the current level is 7.7%, which is a long way from the 13% in Ireland.
I have been in Van for almost 3 years now. I work in IT network admin. I have had 4 jobs, and never looked for any longer than 2-8 weeks at a time. All of my friends here are in the same situation. They are all professionals that started off doing unskilled jobs (supermarkets, car valet, TEFL), then got a job relevant to their field within a few months. I have heard there is a lot of demand for the unskilled jobs of late though.
The under 35 visa is for travelling and having a bit of craic, not for emigrating for employments sake. When I did it, I brought loads of cash and worked unskilled jobs when I ran out. Ten thousand euro lasted me almost the entire year, so it wasnt that expensive. Rent was about 100 bucks a week in Alberta, and booze was crazy cheap. $2 hi-balls anyone?
First of all I hope I did not come across too negative about canada at all. There are a lot of really cool people here. Beautiful scenery, a great quality of outdoors life here etc... I was talking purely from a financial point of view.
I have met quite a few people who have found the same.
I'm not the only one who decided to come over and hoped to get a half decent job over here. Quite a few people have done that. I suppose alberta is a different neck of the woods to vancouver. Here i would imagine rent for a month for a couple (here with the gf) is costing around 750 to 800 dollars. We are not staying anywhere in any way fancy for that. In fact its a bit of a dive, but thats half the fun. I just know a LOT of people back home on the dole who think they might use the U35 as a stepping stone to a better life, job etc... in canada. This post is not being made to bitch about canada.... just to say that if you are coming over with that point of view, like you said yourself.... get your expectations into check.
im trying to stay positive after reading those posts!!but i hear alot of the same professions mentioned regarding no work- construction, engineering, architecture.
i work in youthwork/homeless work, im also a qualified counsellor. does anyone know how those professions are going down over there???
i see work advertised on websites but i wonder is there a bias toward the canadians rather than the best person for the job....
Planty of homeless work here at the moment. There's a big homeless problem in Van, and they have started doing something about it.
There's planty of homeless, mental illness, social work in general. You might need some kind of BC or Canadian certification to do it here though
Fair enough, but I think most people are aware that that is not what this visa is for.
I lived all over Canada - Nova Scotia, Alberta and BC, and it just wasnt that expensive. 400 dollars each is less than 300 euro a month...
You are explicitly excluded from working with kids or doing healthcare work on the under 35 visa, again, its for travelling and earning a few quid to support yourself.
eh...where does it say that???
you need a medical for some profession ye but i didnt see anything about not being allowed to work
CiaranC is *sortof* correct with what he says. The back of the VISA you get printed at immigration explicitly states that you are not allowed to work as a health care professional , with children etc...
However.... this exemption can be lifted with appropriate further screening of your character and medical examination by the canadian high commission. So if you want to work in those areas all is not lost. However I can only imagine that this can take considerable time...
thats crazy as far as ive seen thats not on usits site and then to get the visa and be told you cant work in it is really sly.
i also think the medical is a bit ridiculous, i can understand for hands on care or nursing. but the kind of work i do is mentoring/youthwork, no hands on care.
ive worked in uk and eire and never sat a medical for a job ever!
It says on the usit website that you need a medical if you are going to be teaching/involved in healthcare. So, I don't think you are excluded from this. I'm looking to do some substitute teaching myself (i heard this is very competitive). Anyone know any more on this?
A few of my wife's friends are teachers, they all started as subs, as they all do, there is fierce competition for teaching jobs in Vancouver and preference will go to locals, they have just cut the budget for education and a number of teachers are going to lose their jobs, if you're coming to Vancouver and hoping to work as a sub teacher then don't hold your breath.
Coming to Vancouver and looking to maybe get a job coaching in rugby summer camps for a few weeks. Does the visa allow me to do this if people are saying you can't work with kids?
planning on toronto but hear it's very tough there too. i am planning on sub teaching and private tutoring to supplement that if it is scarce. considering tefl teaching too. going to make enquiries to english language schools to see the demand.