Newcomers to Canada don’t have to start from scratch when it comes to getting their careers back on track in their new home.
Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants, a program facilitated by Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC), can help skilled immigrants return to fields of work related to their training with support and resources.
“Many newcomers have extensive job experience but aren’t able to land similar work they had prior to arriving in Canada,” ISSofBC case manager and career strategist Shedeka Richards says.
“Career Paths helps them position themselves to get interviews and get jobs in their fields.”
The Career Paths program is available for residents of British Columbia and bridges skilled immigrant professionals to work that makes use of their international experience and training.
In Prince George and Cariboo North, the majority of the people Richards works with have specialized training in engineering, architecture, and science. Others are professionals in human resources, counselors, physiotherapists and more.
Richards helps clients begin the process of getting re-credentialed in Canada and prepare to enter the local workforce, sharing tips and tricks immigrants might not know.
“For example, an engineer doesn’t have to come here and start from scratch to get a job,” Richards says.
“What they may not know is that the most important part is to get the process started with their license. You can actually put on your resume that you’ve initiated that process and you’ll be able to get jobs.”
Career Paths helps immigrants succeed in finding meaningful employment in their fields. They help not just with credentials, but also with matching program participants to mentors in their own fields who can guide them in the process.
“We try to get them connected with mentors in their job target field so they can learn about the nuances of the workplace, what hard skills they might need to have, as well as soft skills because every work environment is different,” Richards says.
Program participants also receive support and training with interview skills to help them build the confidence to succeed in job interviews. There is also funding available to help cover the costs associated with the process of applying for credentials.
Richards acknowledges that the process to find employment in one’s desired field can sometimes be lengthy and urges clients not to lose hope. She recently had a client who found a job working in physiotherapy after two years of working toward the goal.
“The big bright smiles clients get when they have landed their dream jobs in Canada puts the icing on the cake for me and it fills me with such great joy and pride for this kind of work. It can change the life of newcomers in such a meaningful way,” Richards says.
“My biggest piece of advice would be that clients should be patient with the process of getting back in their field. It doesn’t happen overnight and it comes a bit faster for some. But the most passionate clients are the ones who land the jobs even faster,” Richards says.
“Your work experience and education obtained from your home country is valuable and will land you that dream job in no time. Don’t lose hope even for a second. The little steps each day towards that end goal will all be worth it in the end. Keep your Canadian goals and dreams alive. You will get there.”
To learn more about the Career Paths program and to get started on your employment journey today, visit issbc.org/ask.