Recession hits Korean-Canadians hard

I can't see an internship angle on this piece - though, I do see the potential marketing opportunity for schools here. This is from a blog post written by an intern at the on-line magazine I contribute to (a-ha! there's the internship angle):

Many Canadians are feeling the effects of the global economic downturn, but Korean immigrants, despite being well educated for the most part, are experiencing even greater hardship than most.

The recession has compounded their challenges by increasing the level of competition for employment and decreasing the viability of Korean-owned businesses, which have traditionally helped new immigrants integrate into the labour market while they are learning to speak English.

Koreans face different challenges than other immigrant groups. Approximately 20-per-cent of all immigrants to Canada arrive as skilled workers and principal applicants. That figure rises to almost 60 per cent by adding dependents and spouses. This is compared to 91-per-cent of Korean immigrants to the country, who arrived under the economic class, which is defined as individuals selected by Citizenship and Immigration Canada for their “skills and ability to contribute to Canada’s economy.”

Despite the fact that a majority of Koreans arrive as economic immigrants, many of them face challenges integrating into the Canadian labour market. The 2006 census showed a 9.5-per-cent unemployment rate among the Korean population in Vancouver, compared to a 7.1-per-cent rate for all visible minorities and a 6-per-cent rate for the city as a whole.

Min said the biggest challenge he faced when coming to Canada was not knowing how to speak English, which made it hard to find a job with established Canadian firms - and when they do it is often at entry level. A City of Vancouver study on the Korean community found that among employed immigrants, 39 per cent are working in low-wage sales and services positions and many more are self-employed.

Read the rest here.