John Shields-Update September 2019

John has been teaching at Ryerson for some 31 years and is a past Director of CERIS, has served as an Interim Director of the Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement, and was Managing Editor of the Journal of International Migration and Integration (2009-2012). He is currently Board Chair of ACCES Employment, a non-profit employment agency specializing in immigrant employment in the GTA, with a budget of some $25 million and serving over 35,000 clients a year.

Aside from the work he has been engaged in on the BMRC-IRMU project John’s recent research has been focused around a number of themes including employment precarity, the changing role of the non-profit sector (including its role in settlement) and the political economy of social innovation (in particular the critique of social impact bonds as a new policy tool). A current project that is just wrapping up that John has been the Youth Domain lead on is the CERIS Immigrant Women, Youth and Seniors (IWYS) project. A report, “Immigrant Youth, Settlement and Resilience” will soon be released. His two most recent books are Precarious Employment: Causes, Consequences and Remedies (edited with Stephanie Procyk and Wayne Lewchuk, 2017) and Immigrant Experiences in North America: Understanding Settlement and Integration (edited with Harald Bauder, 2015). In terms of media out reach is podcast on Precarity (Ryerson Today) and interview on "The Economic Impact of Immigration," for the series Immigration: Benefit or Burden? Radio Canada International may be of interest. You can find his faculty profile at

John joined this research project because it was a composed of a team of leading academic and community-based researchers and practitioners who were positioned to do much needed grounded policy relevant work around questions of importance for migration in Canada today. The Ontario-Quebec comparison is extremely important for settlement but one that had been lacking. The community-academic dimensions of the partnership particularly are particularly strong and the opportunity to do meaningful research and knowledge mobilization with such a team irresistible.

There are many important issues facing the settlement sector and immigrants today. One that he has been working on is precarity. This includes precarious newcomer employment, precarious status of too many migrants, and the precariousness of settlement agencies that serve newcomers because of the structure of government funding structures. Precarity is finely balanced against the resilience of the settlement system (including migrants themselves). The interplay between precaity and resilience is a major them in need of examination.