For newcomers to Canada, finding employment that matches their professional skills and experience can be a challenging journey.
The Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society’s (CVIMS) Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program is your bridge to career fulfillment in your pre-arrival profession.
Career Paths is a unique and practical program that meets the employment needs of newcomers in the communities of Campbell River, Courtenay, Comox Valley, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Parksville and Port Alberni; assisting and guiding them in building their career here in Canada.
We spoke with Carey Karlsson, Client Services Team Lead at CVIMS, about four common questions newcomers ask.
1. How do I know which job to pursue?
The advisors at CVIMS will help you clarify career goals by assessing your skills, qualifications and experience. They’ll assist you with information, advice and guidance to help you build your career plan.
2. Where do I go?
Many new arrivals to Canada may have questions about what agencies they need to connect with first.
Career Paths can help you understand the credential requirements if you work in a regulated occupation, and help find funding to assist the re-certification process.
“We need ensure that the career path you want to pursue in Canada matches your foreign credentials,” Karlsson says. “Each province has different processes with multiple steps. We can guide you in finding the right associations, and provide financial support for any necessary membership fees, exams and assessments or courses.”
3. What about my job search?
Career Paths provides career counselling to explore how to look for work and understand the Canadian workplace.
Support is provided for improving your language skills and upgrading other skills required by employers in your industry. They can also connect you with hands-on workplace experience through practicums, temporary employment or mentoring.
“We help with job search strategies, including finding job leads, resume writing and preparation for informational and job interviews,” Karlsson says. “We can also connect you with job fairs and workshops, and help you understand Canadian employers expectations.”
4. Am I eligible?
To be eligible for the Career Paths program, you must have become a permanent resident within the last five years, have intermediate English proficiency, have three years pre-arrival experience in the career you’re pursuing (one year if between the ages of 19 and 30), and be unemployed or underemployed.
“It’s important to note that applicants must have been working at the same job in their country of origin as the one they are pursuing here,” says Karlsson. “For instance, if you’ve been previously working as a paralegal, we won’t be able to assist you in finding a job as a lawyer.”
CVIMS offers a Career Path for Skilled Immigrants online information session on the third Thursday of each month. Register at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-753-6911, and stay up to date on Facebook.