For new Canadians, getting settled is only the beginning — transitioning into the workplace is the next important step towards success.
When they first come to Canada, most new Canadians take some time to get accustomed to daily life before they truly feel at home. Yet when the financial realities of modern life eventually hit, some new Canadians might not know where to begin to get themselves back into the swing of the working world.
Luckily, a wide variety of career training and workplace preparation options exist.
In Halifax, one of Canada’s oldest immigration ports, the Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association (MISA) offers a plethora of support services to help new Canadians get up-and-running, from initial orientation and counselling to job hunting-help and MISA’s Work in Nova Scotia program offers language and workplace skills training, employer referrals, a professional mentorship program and six-week on-the-job workplace placements. The MISA site at www.misa.ns.ca also offers free business development seminars and integration training for internationally educated professionals.
In Toronto, Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education leads the way in training new Canadians for the workplace. Phil Schalm, a program director at the school, says almost 10,000 immigrants are enrolled in continuing education courses, most of which are targeted to workplace skills.
Workplace experience and bridging programs are among the school’s most popular, and Schalm says even new Canadians with no previous work experience have options, as support fields such as assistant-teaching, entry-level child care and office administration often don’t require certificate training. For people without a formal education, taking a few courses in a chosen support field could make you much more attractive to potential employers.
“Often people who are trying to ease into the workforce might start in a support role. They can come in and even get one or two courses, and that will get them the credibility to get in for these very entry-level positions,” Schalm said.
Large institutions and programs aren’t the only place to get trained for entering the workplace — many community-level institutions and organizations are focused around getting new Canadians integrated quickly and effectively into the workforce.
“Community colleges do this kind of work well,” Schalm said.
Whether you’re climbing the job mountain or just trying to stay afloat, continuing education can serve as a helpful stepping stone or a comforting life-raft to new Canadians hoping to transition into the workforce.