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Free employment program guides new immigrants to Canada along the road to resettlement

ISSofBC works to welcome and empower newcomers in Prince George with career and language services
Gokhan Gunes.

Starting a new life in a new country is not an easy task, especially for foreign-born professionals.

Gokhan Gunes understands the challenge first-hand. Born and raised in Germany as a child of immigrants, he decided to transfer to Canada as an international student to continue his studies after completing his Associate of Arts in the United States.

He recently acquired his permanent residency in Canada and is now working at ISSofBC, a non-profit organization that helps immigrants and refugees settle in their new country.

“As someone who has gone through the immigration process myself, I understand the challenges that come with it, and I am committed to helping others navigate through these challenges,” Gunes says.

Based in Vancouver, Gunes works within the Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program at ISSofBC, which involves working with newcomers to Canada to provide them guidance and support as they pursue careers in their fields of training.

Career Paths can help skilled immigrants get back to fields of work related to their training with support and resources.

ISSofBC’s services support settlement and English-language needs, as well as employment and career development. The organization is driven by core values and principles that put inclusivity, compassion and innovation at the centre of its work.

Gunes supports professional immigrants who have work experience in their home countries and are needing help getting their Canadian credentials. 

He provides them with guidance and support, answering their questions and addressing any concerns they may have. Gunes also collaborates with other team members to organize workshops and events that help clients develop their skills and expand their networks.

“It’s a process. It takes time, it takes effort, and it’s quite costly,” Gunes said.“But Career Paths provides funding to pay for these credential evaluations and courses to clients, enabling them to upskill.”

This is part of the organization’s skill enhancement service, designed to help newcomers become more competitive in the job market. Career Paths offers language courses, and services to assist with job searches. The organization has established relationships with employers so they know who is hiring and what skills they’re looking for.

“We have many clients who went through our program and ended up working as engineers, doctors, and dentists. We have a track record of connecting immigrants to their pre-arrival careers, but it’s not an easy path,” Gunes says. “I always tell clients that it’s not a smooth ride. However, if you stay on top of it and keep trying, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

Prince George is a great place for immigrants to start their new lives in Canada, Gunes says. Not only is the cost of living lower than in the Metro Vancouver Areas, the lower population means there is greater demand for trained professionals in certain industries.

“Prince George is an up-and-coming region where demand will increase over time,” Gunes says. “It’s a great starting point for your life in Canada.”

Gunes connects with his clients on a deeper level, offering them valuable insights and guidance based on his own experience as an immigrant.

“I am passionate about helping people achieve their goals and am always eager to lend a helping hand,” he says. “Seeing clients land their dream jobs and achieve their goals gives me a sense of satisfaction that cannot be matched.”

To learn more about the Career Paths program and to get started on your employment journey today, visit