SHEPHERD: Mandarin- the new job requirement in the Greater Vancouver Area?

SHEPHERD: Mandarin- the new job requirement in the Greater Vancouver Area?

Many jobs in the Greater Vancouver Area are now inaccessible to you if you don’t know Mandarin or Cantonese.

Most Canadian job seekers would understand a “bilingual” position to be demanding language skills in both English and French. But in the Greater Vancouver Area of British Columbia, “bilingual” often refers to English and Mandarin.

If familiarity with Mandarin (and sometimes Cantonese) is not a full-on job requirement, it may be listed as a “preferred qualification”, “strong asset”, or “big bonus.”

The Greater Vancouver area is known to be a thriving hub of Chinese culture.

For instance, popular ride-sharing apps Uber and Lyft are currently banned in B.C., but there are a handful of Chinese-language ride-sharing apps such as Udi Kuaiche and Longmao that serve only Chinese customers and will not pick up “Westerners.”

The real estate market in the Greater Vancouver area is infamous for being Chinese-dominated – in Richmond, B.C., where the population is 71 percent Asian (54 percent Chinese), a complaint was filed with the B.C. human rights tribunal in 2015 over a townhouse complex’s strata meetings, which were taking place exclusively in Mandarin.

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