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The school-to-work transitions of newcomer youth in Canada.


Over half of all migrants to Canada are under 29 years of age and one quarter arrive as refugees. Studies on occupational achievements and labour market status have been largely ignored in favour of studies on adult migrants rather than on youth. This paper uses data collected from two sources: a national study of newly-arrived newcomer youth living in Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg and Vancouver using qualitative interviews, and a quantitative analysis of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC). The focus of this paper is to use these datasets to better understand the high school trajectory of recently arrived newcomer youth and compare their experiences. We are particularly interested in the influence of education attained in Canada compared to education attained outside of Canada and the differences, if any, in labour market outcomes. The findings reveal distinctly slower trajectories through high school among those arriving as refugees, those lacking English or French language instruction prior to arrival, and issues with grade placement. These are identified as significant barriers to entering post-secondary education and to subsequent labour market success.


Parmi les immigrants au Canada, plus de la moitie ont moins de 29 ans et un quart sont des refugies. Les etudes sur ce qu'ils ont realise sur le plan professionnel et sur leur statut dans le marche du travail ont ete largement laissees pour compte en faveur de celles portant sur les emigres adultes plutot que sur les jeunes. Cet article s'appuie sur une collecte de donnees provenant de deux sources: une etude nationale sur les jeunes nouveaux arrivants qui vivent a Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg et Vancouver et reposant sur des entrevues qualitatives, et une analyse quantitative de l'Enquete longitudinale sur les immigrants au Canada (ELIC). Notre objectif est de se servir de ces donnees pour mieux comprendre la trajectoire scolaire au niveau secondaire de jeunes recemment arrives et de comparer leurs experiences. Nous nous interessons particulierement a l'influence de l'education acquise au Canada par rapport a celle recue a l'etranger et les differences, s'il y en a, pour les possibilites d'emploi. Ce qui se revele nettement, c'est une scolarite secondaire a un rythme plus lent parmi les refugies et ceux qui n'ont pas eu d'enseignement en anglais ou en francais avant de venir ici, et des problemes de niveau scolaire. Ce sont la des obstacles significatifs pour le passage au niveau post-secondaire et pour des chances de succes sur le marche du travail.


School-to-work transition studies examining the experiences of Canadian-born youth are plentiful; few examine newcomer youth. The following paper is an attempt to shed light on this neglected group. One of the reasons we feel that little attention has been paid to this group is a mistaken belief that once the initial settlement "bumps" are over, it is easy to integrate seamlessly into school and work, particularly among newcomers who arrive in their teens or young adulthood. Despite youth fleeing situations of war, entering a new culture, learning a new language and adapting to a new society and education system, a prevailing assumption has been that few youth experience long-term adjustment problems in school and in the labour market when compared to adults. No doubt there is great resiliency among this group, but we know very little about what happens to them in the school and job market after they have settled in Canada. Our research attempts to address some of these gaps. This lack of attention to migrant youth is disturbing, given that this is a group that will contribute substantially to labour market growth in the next decade.

The purpose of this paper is to examine some of the educational and job search experiences of newcomer youth in their first four years in Canada. These four years could be considered the "short-term" stage of integration. It is a time where learning a new language, adjusting to a new culture and way of life, finding employment or going to school, and locating a social network are primary activities among newcomer youth. We address several research questions in this study. First, are newcomer youth placed in age appropriate grades in high school upon their arrival to Canada? A related question is: will they finish high school? Second, what factors influence early high school dropout among newcomer youth? Using data collected from semi-structured interviews and an analysis of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada, we address these issues and offer some suggestions for further improving their educational outcomes.


A large and growing literature articulates the schooling experiences of newcomer youth. What scholars find is that there is great diversity, as is to be expected, in the academic performance of newcomer youth. Some do very well in school, surpassing the academic performance of native-born official language speakers, while others struggle at school for a number of reasons, including language barriers, lack of social supports, stress, and incongruence between curriculums of the home country and those of Canadian schools. A report written by Marie McAndrew (2009) and her colleagues reveal some trends among newcomer students in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto area schools. Males are more likely to enter high school one or more years late, and those who change schools often (as the newly arrived do) and take EAL or FCAL (3) linguistic support are the least likely to graduate high school. In particular, youth who speak Spanish or Creole tend to have lower academic performance rates than other newcomers. Anisef (2010) and his colleagues, in their study of early high school dropout among newcomer youth in a Toronto school division, report similar findings.

Linguistic issues can have a major influence on trajectories through school, though the findings are mixed. Watt and Roessingh (1994; 2001), in a widely reported study of academic achievement among students living in Calgary, find that 74% of those attending EAL classes do not complete high school. Findings by Derwing (1999) and her colleagues are more optimistic, indicating that only 10% of EAL students leave high school prior to completing their diplomas. While it is not our purpose to "decide" whose research is more correct, these leaving rates are particularly troubling, especially for refugee youth. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (2010), 44% of refugees could not speak English or French upon arrival, the highest rate among all immigrant entrance categories. It should not be surprising that early high school dropout is significantly higher among refugee youth.

Language acquisition problems combine with other issues that may make it more difficult for newcomers to navigate the school system. One of those issues is the significant gap that some refugees may have in their educational backgrounds. Flight from war-torn countries has meant that many youth have months and years where they do not attend school. Still others will be unable to produce academic records which were destroyed in the war. This leaves refugee youth in a unique position. They are more likely to he assessed at lower grade levels than those with uninterrupted academic backgrounds. What compounds the issue is the fact that all provinces have a maximum age, at which time, public funding for secondary education ends. For half the provinces (4), this age is 18 or 19 years and is informally called an "age cap." These provinces will publicly fund students to attend high school until their 19th birthday, after which, interested students must move to adult learning centres. While there is some funding for low income students, there are always more students than funds or seats available. There are other, more generous provinces such as Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba who fund their students in secondary school through their 21st birthday. There has been recognition recently that newcomers, particularly refugee students, are being "pushed out" of high schools. The United Way of Calgary, for example, has called for additional subsidies that would allow students up to age 24 to complete their high school education (Myers 2011).

There are other issues that negatively influence the timely transition of newcomer youth to post-secondary education. Foreign credential recognition is a significant problem for young newcomers, though it has not been discussed in the literature until recently. Gilmore and Petit (2008), in their study of adult immigrants, find that among the recently arrived, those with university degrees obtained overseas are three times more likely to return to school than those born in Canada. There is some debate about whether a Canadian education has benefits for newly arrived immigrants. Shields and his colleagues (2010) argue that immigrants who return to university in Canada take longer to integrate into the labour market and their interrupted work careers result in lower incomes over the lifetime of their employment. Lauer et al. (2012) also find that foreign credential issues are a significant problem faced by newcomer youth. They document several instances where youth with university-level education have been forced to return to high school to obtain credits before their university credits are even examined. They also chronicle the frustration young migrants may lace in having their educational credits transferred to institutions in Canada.

This study aims to address some of the gaps in the research on the educational pathways taken by newcomer youth. Specifically, we examine the influence of immigrant entrance class, country of origin, discrimination, language of instruction and grade placement upon completion of high school diplomas. We also identify the characteristics of newcomers who are on track to complete their diplomas by their 20th birthdays. Finally, using qualitative interviews, we give some tangible, real life experiences of newcomers as they navigate Canada's secondary and post-secondary education systems.


This project consists of two phases. In phase one, a detailed statistical analysis of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC) (Statistics Canada 2007a) was conducted. (5) Here, we examine the educational trajectories of newcomers aged 15 to 29 years at arrival. Several aspects of their new lives in Canada were measured over a four-year period beginning six months after arrival and ending four years after arrival. Participants in LSIC were selected randomly amongst newcomer arrivals between October 2000 and September 2001. A total of 2625 met the age criteria for this study. All countries of origin and immigrant entrance classes are represented in the study, but refugee claimants are excluded from the data base. Various statistical analyses were conducted. For the purposes of this study, generalized linear models were conducted for the high school trajectories, and logistic regressions were conducted to identify the factors that influence early high school leaving. All results were weighted and bootstrapped according to Statistics Canada regulations. No proxy data were used in this analysis. SPSS and SUDAAN are the statistical software used to produce the results.

In Phase Two, we conducted semi-structured interviews to obtain a more complete picture of the short-term integration experiences of newcomer youth from four study cities: Vancouver, Winnipeg, Hamilton and Toronto. Toronto and Vancouver are selected for obvious reasons, as they and their outlying communities are the top two destination cities of immigrants to Canada. We include Winnipeg and Hamilton for several reasons. Manitoba has the most successful Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). In 2009, nearly 13,000 newcomers came to Manitoba under the PNP (Manitoba Labour and Immigration 2010). Winnipeg is the fifth most popular destination for newcomers to Canada despite the fact that it is Canada's tenth largest city. Hamilton presents similar characteristics. With a population of just over 692,000 (Statistics Canada 2007b), it is similar in size to Winnipeg. Like Winnipeg, Hamilton is a tier-two city that attracts a large number of immigrants. Between 1997 and 2006, 32,252 immigrants arrived in Hamilton (Citizenship and Immigration Canada 2007). It is the third most popular city of destination for migrants to Ontario. This makes Winnipeg and Hamilton interesting case studies on migration to mid-sized cities.

Employing a convenience sampling strategy largely through referrals and promotion by individuals, immigrant settlement agencies and ethno-cultural community organizations, we successfully recruited and interviewed 82 youth participants, roughly 20 per city. Only participants who best matched the characteristics of respondents in the LSIC database were recruited. This meant that participants had to arrive in Canada in or after October 2001 and had to be between the ages of 15 and 29 years at the time of the interview. Another criterion for inclusion in Phase Two included participation in schooling and work activities for at least one year. Table 1 outlines the three characteristics of Phase Two participants by city. There is variation in the number of refugee youth participating in our study. In Hamilton, for instance, the number of refugee youth is 40%, while in Vancouver and Winnipeg, these numbers are smaller. Overall, 22% of our participants arrived from war and instability, about 6% higher than the average. (6)

A note about how the variables are defined is warranted. Tables 2 and 3 show the trajectory of newcomers through high school. We define students as "on track" if they are taking the courses needed to obtain a high school diploma on or before their 19th birthday. Positive numbers along the axes indicate that students are ahead of what would be expected for their age and grade placement. Negative numbers along the axes indicate the number of years behind. Table 4's dependent variable is completion of a high school diploma (1=completed high school, 0=high school incomplete). High school completers were defined as those graduating on or prior to their 20th birthday, a rather conservative measure of high school completion given that 92% of Canadians finish high school by this age.

Immigrant entrance class identifies those arriving in the four main categories of immigration: family class, skilled worker, business and refugee. For this analysis, the business class is the reference category. Sex is defined as males=1. Country of origin is categorized into 12 groups (Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Other Europe, Middle East, West Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, Caribbean, Africa and Latin America). American, New Zealand and Australian were the reference group. Language of instruction prior to arrival was defined as "no English or French instruction prior to arrival" is equal to 1. Students were asked if the grade they were placed in at arrival was appropriate; those who indicated in the positive were defined as 1. Those arriving with members missing were equal to 1; while those receiving help with education in Wave 3 and the number of people to help in Wave 3 were also defined as 1. All categorical variables are dummy-coded.

Age and age squared are measured as continuous level variables. A discrimination index was created by combining the answers of a series of questions from Wave 2 and 3 into a single measure. All continuous level measures are normally distributed and free of kurtosis and skewness.


Table 2 maps the entrance of newcomer youth in Canadian high schools six months after their arrival. Nearly 40% of youth entering under the Business class (7) and over 30% of those entering in the Skilled Worker class are "on track" to complete their high school diploma on or before their 19th birthday. Conversely, 76% of refugee youth (8) are at least one grade level behind in their high school education when compared to their Canadian-born peers of similar ages. (9) Similarly, 77.2% of those arriving in the family class are behind in their high school education. (10)

Table 3 represents the results of a generalized linear model that shows the high school trajectories of newcomer youth aged 15 to 19 years at arrival. (11) We are interested in examining the combined effects of immigrant entrance class and racialized status on the trajectory through high school. Our results are statistically significant--there is an effect of entrance class and racialized status on both the grade at which students are assessed and how fast they "catch up" to their similarly aged Canadian-educated peers. (12) The good news is that all the youth, regardless of immigration or race, have strong positive trajectories throughout their first two years in a Canadian high school, as evidenced by the upward sloping lines for all groups in the chart. At the time of arrival, all newcomers, regardless of their immigrant entrance class, are, on average, 0.5 to 2.5 years "behind" the grade level of similarly aged Canadian-born youth. Despite entering high school and facing years' long delays in attaining a diploma, many of these youth have "caught up" within two years (i.e., are at a grade that is "expected" among Canadian youth) which is seen in the steep upward lines in the graph. The bad news is that there are definite differences by immigrant entrance class and by race.


Those arriving in the Business or Skilled Worker classes have the "best" high school placements on arrival. With the exception of racialized students arriving under the Business class, the three remaining groups are about half a year behind Canadian-educated students at the time of their arrival. For those racialized students entering in the Business classes, their high school grade is about one year behind similarly aged Canadian-born students. Two years after arrival, however, their trajectories diverge. The Business class students have steep upward trajectories through high school. Those who are white have the greatest "catch-up" rate, even surpassing the average grade placement of similarly aged peers who were educated in Canada. Racialized students who entered in the Business class fare the second best, having essentially "caught up" to similarly aged Canadian-educated peers. The Skilled Worker students did not fare so well. In fact, their trajectories through high school are relatively flat two years after arrival, a strong indication of severe difficulty progressing through Canadian high school and of early high school dropout which is a problem with this group. (13)

Others experience more difficulty in the initial and subsequent years in Canadian high schools. Refugee students have more years of education to "catch up," hardly surprising given that most will have experienced significant gaps in their education prior to arriving in Canada and/or may have experienced difficulties obtaining appropriate transcripts to assist educators in assessing an appropriate grade placement on arrival. The relationship between immigrant entrance class and grade placement on arrival changes once we consider racialization. Racialized refugee youth are, on average, assessed grade placements that are 2.25 years behind their similarly aged Canadian-born peers. However, their trajectory to catch up is relatively steep, closing the gap between themselves and Canadian-educated peers to 1.25 years within a two-year period. This is a significant move forward for this group as, not only do the lines indicate that on average, racialized refugees are not only keeping pace with their similarly aged Canadian-born peers, but they are doing extra work to narrow that gap two years later. Despite their hard work, however, they remain the most "behind" of all groups two years after arrival. Refugee students who are not members of racialized groups fare better. At arrival, they are assessed at 1.25 grades lower than similarly aged Canadian-born youth. Two years after arrival, their grade placement is nearly the same as those exposed entirely to the Canadian high school system and, in fact, they surpass the other entrance and racial categories except for Business class students.

The final statistical model identifies the significant factors that influence early high school leaving among newcomers using a logistic regression. Immigrant entrance class and area of origin play significant roles in determining early high school leaving, but in ways that we did not expect. Entering Canada as a refugee has the greatest influence on early high school leaving. Refugees are nearly five times more likely than other newcomers to leave high school prior to completing their high school diploma. Those entering in the skilled worker class are not far behind, 4.73 times more likely to leave school prior to graduation. Entering as a family class migrant also has an influence on early high school leaving at a rate of 1.47 times greater than others.

When other factors are controlled, youth from the Caribbean are 68% less likely to leave high school early, a pattern that is reflected among those from South Asia and African areas. This finding is contradictory to observations made by other researchers and observers and will be discussed later. Another contrary finding involves the discrimination index. Youth who perceive that they are discriminated against are actually less likely to leave school without a diploma, the implications of which are discussed below.

Educational experiences prior to and immediately after arrival play a role in determining early high school leaving. Youth who have not had educational instruction in English or French prior to their arrival are 2.29 times more likely to leave high school without a diploma. This has implications for language training. Grade placement at arrival is an important factor influencing early high school leaving among newcomer youth. Youth participating in LSIC were asked to assess whether the grade they were placed in at arrival was too high or too low to match their prior educational level. Youth who felt their grade placement was too low and did not recognize their prior education are slightly more likely (odds ratio 0.83) to leave school than those who felt the grade placement was appropriate. The number of people who can help the student with educational problems has a small effect on early high school leaving, in a direction that is not easily understood. Those who have a larger social network are slightly more likely to leave high school prior to obtaining their diplomas. It is also worth mentioning that males are 1.47 times more likely to leave high school early than females and that those arriving at older ages are also more likely to leave secondary school without a diploma.

The next phase of the research involved in-depth semi-structured interviews with newcomer youth across Canada. Refugee youth are more likely to have experienced long gaps in their education due to flight from their home countries, separation from family, trauma and protracted stays in refugee camps. Some camps may not have adequate educational facilities, particularly for older youth, and this puts this group at a significant disadvantage compared to other newcomers. Odila, a female currently living in Winnipeg and originally from the Congo, tells us about her time in the refugee camp: "There is grade one to ... in the refugee camp we do not finish Grade 12, we just have Grade 10. They call it high school."

Another frustrating experience noted by several youth in our study was the fact that they had to re-do schooling they had already completed in their home. While this ought not to be surprising given the fact that many of the newcomers were assessed at grades far below their age, the interviews do give us a peek into the experiences of being "left behind" at school. Malcolm Z, a male respondent from Zimbabwe and now living in Hamilton, informs us that "I was in my third year in Zimbabwe, now I'm doing repetition of what I have already done." It is a comment heard from participants coast to coast. Refugees and immigrants alike, despite having completed high school diplomas in their home country--some having completed some or all of their university education--are forced back to high school once they arrive in Canada. The experience can be demeaning and depressing.


It is clear that both colour and entrance class influence high school trajectories among immigrant youth. Those entering in the Business and Skilled Worker classes have the highest grade placements on arrival, while those who enter as refugees have the lowest grade placements. Previous research has not examined the effect of immigrant entrance class on high school trajectories in this way. Our findings do support research indicating that there are area of origin effects on high school completion, though the results here must be interpreted with caution, as we were unable to examine individual countries of origins separately due to confidentiality issues. Despite this limitation, our study reveals some contradictions in terms of the examination of area of origin effects on early high school leaving. Contrary to McAndrew et al.'s (2009) and Anisef et al.'s (2010) findings, students from the Caribbean, African and South Asian areas are less likely to leave high school without obtaining a diploma when other factors are controlled. While they may experience difficulty in other aspects, it appears that when considering early high school leavers, these students, overall, are doing well. This does not mean they do not experience difficulty at school, just that they do not drop out of school when other conditions are identified. It would be important for future research to examine all of the reasons for early high school leaving.

The longitudinal aspect of the study also reveals that although refugee youth are at a disadvantage in terms of their grade placement upon arrival, they work hard and are able to narrow that gap two years later. Despite our initial optimism, however, the logistic regression reveals that refugee youth are five times more likely than students entering in other immigrant classes to leave high school without obtaining a diploma. This has significant consequences for their successful entrance into the labour market as adults. Few good jobs are available to those without secondary education. This makes refugee youth vulnerable to long-term problems such as unstable, poorly paid employment. Refugee youth are especially vulnerable to the age-cap policies of most provincial governments. As education is under provincial jurisdiction, there are differences in how long provinces fund youth through their high school education. Five provinces end public funding of secondary education by age 18. Many refugee youth arrive with significant gaps in their education, making it nearly impossible for this group to complete high school prior to the age cap. While most provinces have programs that fully or partially fund older youth to complete their high school education outside of publicly funded institutions, the spaces are too few for the demand. The fees may be out of reach for many refugee families. For instance, fees start at $500 per course for adults who wish to complete their high school diplomas in Calgary (Myers 2011). This can be an insurmountable obstacle, particularly in their early years of settlement. One policy implication arising from this study is to urge the provinces to rethink the age-cap policies, particularly as they may apply to refugee youth. A further implication of the age-cap policy is that it makes those entering Canada at older ages more vulnerable. As the logistic regression shows, those arriving to Canada who are older are more likely to leave high school early. This may be due to age caps on publicly funded education or other reasons such as difficulties having high school credits from abroad recognized (which we discuss below).

The logistic regression also reveals other interesting results that, at times, conflict with other established research. For example, the discrimination index is positively related to the propensity of newcomers to stay in school. Although the association is very weak, those who perceive higher levels of discrimination during their first four years in Canada are actually more likely to stay in school. Discrimination is not an issue that can be ignored, as it has significant consequences for the economy and for social cohesion in our society. If there is a group of individuals who are marginalized and systematically excluded from various aspects of society, individuals and families feel ostracized, regret relocating, and are less likely to contribute to their new society. On a social level, large numbers of people who are excluded from society based on their race, ethnicity, religion or other identifiers, entrench social inequality. In Canada, various government policies such as Employment Equity Act and Multiculturalism Act are meant to deter this type of large scale discrimination. Clearly, our results indicate that more needs to be done to combat inequality in our society.

The importance of official language fluency ought not be understated. After refugee status and Skilled Worker class, it is the most influential in determining early high school leaving among newcomers. Our findings buttress those of Derwing and associates (1999) as well as Watt and Roessingh (2001) that identify the importance of knowledge of official language in terms of youth's propensity to complete high school. While EAL and FCLS programs are widely available, there remain some students who are unable to finish school. Perhaps more intensive language courses are needed for such students. Not only would this encourage newcomer youth to finish school, it will likely have positive benefits when they enter the labour market.

Males are more likely to leave school early and be slower in "catching up" in their high school education than females. This is an indication that policies focused on identifying the unique needs of male newcomer youth may contribute to some positive dividends in terms of access to post-secondary education and good employment among this group. While it is true that early high school leaving is also prevalent among Canadian-born males (Statistics Canada 2010), the rate is higher among the newcomer males in our study. New programs ought to provide some attention to this particularly vulnerable group.

Repetition of high school credits is another issue identified in this study. Our participants reveal the frustration of having to repeat courses upon arrival to Canada. This is particularly depressing for those arriving to Canada with post-secondary education including university degrees. This also contributes to low self-esteem and to stagnated trajectories to post-secondary education and to work. It also costs society more. According to the Calgary United Way report, early high school leavers cost society on average nearly $16,000 per year for the difficulties this group experiences finding employment (Meyers 2011). It is also linked to foreign credential recognition.

Credential recognition is particularly difficult for refugee youth. In addition to having significant gaps in their education as a result of war, many have difficulty providing sufficient documentation proving their qualifications, as the institutions they attended may no longer exist and records may have been lost due to the conflict. There are also many documented cases where the new regime has destroyed the educational records of some citizens, particularly those who are identified as "enemies" to the new government. Surprisingly, the issue of foreign credential recognition among newcomer youth, particularly refugee youth, has been largely ignored in the Canadian research. There are two reasons for this. First, the issue of foreign credential recognition is assumed to plague those who have professional training. While this may be true, the issue goes far beyond professional training. As evidenced in this research, foreign credential issues are apparent even among those still in high school. The second reason that the issue of foreign credentials recognition has not been fully examined among newcomer youth in general is the focus on other aspects of their integration. Cursory searches of the available research reveal that most focus on language acquisition and mental health issues. There are few studies that explicitly examine the transition from school to work.


Our study has revealed several interesting findings in relation to the educational experiences of newcomer youth. This group is more likely to be placed in grades lower than similarly aged Canadian-born peers, which puts them at risk of not completing high school prior to the point when the age-cap policy pushes them out of school. It also reveals the importance of fluency in official language in terms of completion of secondary school and finding work. Failure to have credentials and courses obtained from overseas is not only a problem for adults, it is also an issue that is relevant to newcomer youth, particularly those from refugee areas. While our study was unable to delve into this issue in more detail, it does suggest that researchers ought to turn their attention to the problem as early as high school. Finally, the failure of researchers to adequately address the unique issues related to newcomer youth, particularly in finding work and transitioning to the Canadian labour market, indicates that this is an area that cries out for further research.


The authors would like to acknowledge the following individuals for their assistance: Ian Clara (Statistics Canada Manitoba Research Data Centre), Christine Hochbaum (University of British Columbia), Da Rae Lee (University of British Columbia), Fadi Ennab (University of Manitoba), Jasmine Thomas (University of Manitoba), and Kirandeep Sibia (McMaster University).


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(1.) Corresponding author can be contacted at: Department of Sociology, 183 Dafoe Road, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg MB R3T 2N2. Email:

(2.) Funding for this study was provided by a SSHRC/Metropolis Strategic Grant "Immigration and the Metropolis", grant number 808-2007-1001. The analysis is based on confidential microdata and the opinions expressed do not represent the views of Statistics Canada.

(3.) English as an Additional Language and le francais langue additionnelle pour immigrantes et immigrants.

(4.) In the remaining five provinces, some age caps end at age 18 (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Ontario) or 19 (British Columbia), others extend to 20 (Alberta and Prince Edward Island) and the remainder (Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan), end at age 21 (information gathered from provincial education acts).

(5.) Analysis of Phase One data is based on confidential microdata received from Statistics Canada and the opinions expressed do not represent the views of Statistics Canada.

(6.) According to preliminary estimates released by Citizenship and immigration Canada (2011), 8.8% of all new coiners to Canada in 2010 were refugees; however, 16.4% of the newcomer population between the ages of 15 and 29 years are refugees.

(7.) Entrance class is determined and assigned based on the individual's entrance class or their parents' entrance class.

(8.) Refugees in our study are defined as privately sponsored or government sponsored. The dataset excludes refugee claimants.

(9.) Note the results of Table 3 indicate that their grade placement on arrival is actually much lower.

(10.) Results two years after arrival do not change. Family class and refugee youth remain the most "behind" in their secondary education.

(11.) Only youth who have attended high school in Canada are included in this table.

(12.) A note on the development of this variable: The average age of attaining a high school diploma in Canada is 18 years old. If we allow one year "grace" (i.e., 19 years to attain a high school diploma), then a newcomer who is aged 20 and still in grade 10 would be considered three years "behind" in their high school education.

(13.) Our figures indicate that 11.2% of newcomer males and 11.3% of newcomer females leave high school prior to obtaining a high school diploma. A further 7.8% of males and 5.4% of females continue high school but are several years behind similarly aged Canadian born peers (see Wilkinson et al. 2010). This compares unfavorably to the results of early high school leaving among those educated in Canada. Among males, the early high school leaving rate is 10.3%, while for females, it is 6.6% (Statistics Canada 20101.

LORI WILKINSON is Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Manitoba. She specializes in immigration and refugee studies, particularly on issues related to discrimination, settlement and health among newcomers to Canada. She is currently the editor of the Journal of International Migration and Integration.

MIU CHUNG YAN, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, University of British Columbia. His major research is on the labour market experience of new generation youth from visible minority immigrant families. Currently, he is leading a multi-disciplinary research team to study the social integration functions of place-based community organizations in the neighbourhood level.

A. KA TAT TSANG, Ph.D., is Professor and Factor-Inwentash Chair in Social Work in the Global Community at the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. The focus of Professor Tsang's work is the development of a knowledge base for social work practice in a globalized context, combining conventional and creative forms of knowledge production. The key themes are diversity, global community, and innovation in practice, with active integration of theory and research.

RICK SIN, a former social work lecturer at McMaster University, is an independent researcher on immigration and settlement issues.

SEAN LAUER's research applies institutional approaches from sociology to processes within communities and families. Lauer is currently working on a project that examines community-based organizations and the capacity building outcomes from involvement such as social skills and ties. He is also working on a series of papers that take a new institutional approach to changes in marriage.
TABLE 1. Selected Characteristics of Phase Two Interview Participants
by City

                             Vancouver   Winnipeg   Hamilton

  Female                        60%        55%        55%
  Male                          40%        45%        45%
Immigration Entrance Class
  Refugee                       15%        15%        40%
  Other classes                 85%        85%        60%
Area of Origin
  Africa                        20%        32%        35%
  Asia                          60%        59%        25%
  Middle East                    5%         0%        20%
  Latin America, Caribbean      15%         5%        10%
    & Pacific Is
  Europe and US                  0%         5%        10%

                             Toronto   Total

  Female                       35%      51%
  Male                         65%      49%
Immigration Entrance Class
  Refugee                      24%      22%
  Other classes                76%      78%
Area of Origin
  Africa                       20%      27%
  Asia                         45%      48%
  Middle East                  10%       9%
  Latin America, Caribbean      5%       9%
    & Pacific Is
  Europe and US                25%      10%

TABLE 2. High School Trajectory Six Months After Arrival by
Immigrant Class

                  Behind   On-track

Family class       77.2%     22.8%
Skilled workers    69.3%     30.7%
Business class     60.9%     39.1%
Refugees           76.7%     23.3%

Note: Table made from bar graph.

TABLE 4. Factors Influencing Early High School
Leaving among Newcomer Youth in Canada

Sex                                      1.47
Age                                      0.26
age squared                              1.03
Income                                   0.91
Western Europe                           0.49
Eastern Europe                           1.57
Southern Europe                          1.10
Other Europe                             1.71
Middle East                              0.61
West Asia                                0.57
South Asia                               0.53
Southeast Asia                           0.62
Caribbean                                0.32
African                                  0.44
Latin America                            1.21
No English/French Prior to Arrival       2.29
Hours of language Instruction            1.04
Family Class                             1.47
Skilled Class                            4.73
Refugee Class                            4.98
Fractured Family                         1.02
Discrimination Index (W2/W3)             0.92
Importance of PESC Ed W1                 0.92
Education Problems index W2              1.03
Received help with edu W3                0.69
No help with ed need W3                  0.92
Appropriate grade placement W1           0.83
Number of people to help W3

Note: Labels with red text indicate the variable
is statistically significant at P<0.01 while blue
text labels indicate the variable is statistically
significant at P0.05.

Note: Table made from bar graph.
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Author:Wilkinson, Lori; Yan, Miu Chung; Tsang, A. Ka Tat; Sin, Rick; Lauer, Sean
Publication:Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 22, 2012
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