Researcher looking at Caribbean immigrant experience

By Jasminee Sahoye

What are the labour market experience of immigrants from the Caribbean? This is the main theme that will be examined by a PhD student at Ryerson University in Toronto, who migrated from Trinidad and Tobago almost a decade ago.

Ron Branker is looking for candidates in Ontario from Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago to conduct interviews on the road they travelled to where they are today in the labour market. As an immigrant himself, who came to Canada with a Master’s degree from the University of the West Indies, Branker had to get retrained by doing a second Master’s program and now completing his PhD in the policy studies program.

He said there is limited research on immigrants from the Caribbean. He found studies done about Caribbean and Latin American immigrants but none focusing on immigrants from the English speaking Caribbean.
There are frustrations with getting credentials assessed and recognized, discrimination, lack of social network among other things immigrants experience. Through his research, he hopes that immigrants from the Caribbean will have a better understanding of the labour market experiences through the stories of those who agree to be interviewed. He also hopes that his research will bring about change in the way policies are designed.

Branker who is current employed as a Policy Advisor in the Employment and Labour Policy and Program Development Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Labour says he would like to speak to as many immigrants from the three countries as they represent a large number, compared to the other countries in the English speaking Caribbean.

His intention is to speak to at least 30 people; 10 from each country and an equal number of male and female respondents who have been in Canada for a period of at least five years, possess at least a post-secondary level of education and live or work in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)

He also wants to hear the success stories – factors that led to the labour market success for those who are successful – was it because of training in the specific field of work, social network and/or marketing?

Anyone interested in the study can contact Ron Branker at