Immigrants and Workplace Training: Evidence from Canadian Linked Employer Employee Data

59 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2019

See all articles by Benoit Dostie

Benoit Dostie

HEC Montreal - Institute of Applied Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Mohsen Javdani

Simon Fraser University


Job training is one of the most important aspects of skill formation and human capital accumulation. In this study we use longitudinal Canadian linked employer-employee data to examine whether white/visible minority immigrants and Canadian-borns experience different opportunities in two well-defined measures of firm-sponsored training: on-the-job training and classroom training.While we find no differences in on-the-job training between different groups, our results suggest that visible minority immigrants are significantly less likely to receive classroom training, and receive fewer and shorter classroom training courses, an experience that is not shared by white immigrants. For male visible minority immigrants, these gaps are entirely driven by their differential sorting into workplaces with less training opportunities. For their female counterparts however, they are mainly driven by differences that emerge within workplaces. We find no evidence that years spent in Canada or education level can appreciably reduce these gaps. Accounting for potential differences in career paths and hierarchical level also fails to explain these differences.We find however that these gaps are only experienced by visible minority immigrants who work in the for-profit sector, with those in the non-profit sector experiencing positive or no gaps in training. Finally, we show that other poor labor market outcomes of visible minority immigrants, including their wages and promotion opportunities, stem in part from these training gaps.

Keywords: immigrants, wages, firm-sponsored training, linked employer-employee data

JEL Classification: J24, L22, M53

Suggested Citation

Dostie, Benoit and Javdani, Mohsen, Immigrants and Workplace Training: Evidence from Canadian Linked Employer Employee Data. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12511, Available at SSRN:

Benoit Dostie (Contact Author)

HEC Montreal - Institute of Applied Economics ( email )

3000, ch. de la Côte-Ste-Catherine
Montréal, Quebec H3T 2A7
514-340-6453 (Phone)
514-340-6469 (Fax)


IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Mohsen Javdani

Simon Fraser University ( email )

School of Public Policy
515 West Hastings St.
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 5K3


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