The head of one Canadian think tank says that immigrants face a skills gap and barriers entering the country’s jobs market.

Susan Black, the president and CEO of the Conference Board of Canada, said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg Monday that 90 per cent of paid labour in Canada’s economy is in small and medium-sized companies. However, she said those firms are saying they “can’t find the skills they need in order to grow their company.” 

“At the same time, we've got a huge influx of immigrants and they're ending up in jobs where they're over-skilled,” Black said. 

“And so that's a problem. So we have this mismatch, and we need employers and newcomers to work together to figure out how to close that gap.”

According to Black, newcomers face certain barriers which include small and medium-sized businesses often lacking resources to adequately assess skills, while many companies look for previous Canadian work experience. 

“The fact of the matter is, there's no common definition for Canadian experience, and there's absolutely no evidence that Canadian experience gets people to be better workers for you,” she said. 

To watch the full interview with Susan Black, click the video at the top of the article.