Customized program helps connect skilled immigrants to jobs in BC

Mar 25 2021, 4:59 pm

Finding a job is hard enough — especially during a pandemic — but for newcomers to Canada who are adjusting to a new culture and environment, sometimes the obstacles can feel overwhelming.

It’s not for a lack of skills or enthusiasm that immigrants have difficulties finding work — the challenge often lies in translating their professional skills, qualifications, and experiences in a way that local employers will value. For starters, newcomers working in regulated occupations have to go through a lengthy process of re-certification in Canada because their qualifications don’t match local requirements.

More often than not, the process of re-certification is complicated, expensive, and consists of multiple steps, which can cause confusion without additional help and guidance. This is a key reason why many people give up early in the process. On top of that, there’s confusion around searching for jobs as certain positions may sound familiar to newcomers but come with an entirely different set of responsibilities.

To help bridge that gap, MOSAIC is offering their Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program to all eligible candidates. The program not only helps immigrants with language services and training, but it also provides career planning and financial support to newcomers, making the transition to their new country and their career path that much smoother.

Without the kind of direct aforementioned support, immigrant job seekers often have a difficult time finding positions that match the experience and education they received in their home country. 

One former client of the Career Paths program said they tried multiple ways to find a job in Canada. Despite employers responding to them based on their experience, they weren’t successful in passing the interviews. 

“I was frustrated and stopped job searching for a while,” they said. However, MOSAIC team members helped them learn how to present their job experience and qualifications better, sharing interview tips, too. “The career advisor and employer relations specialist helped me find a job that fit me and helped me prepare the job application,” they added. “After following their advice, I passed the interview and got the job.”

In 2015, immigrants and recent immigrants represented 41.8% and 6.5% of Vancouver’s labour force respectively. Today, the growing economy and job market in BC means that more employers are looking for skilled workers to fill new positions, and the Career Paths program is the perfect way to connect immigrant communities with those jobs.

With the added difficulty of the pandemic, programs like these are integral for keeping newcomers on track to establishing their careers in Canada. Plus, MOSAIC’s client surveys revealed that 90% of clients are happy with the service and find it helpful.

The program is available in three different streams, with specific requirements per stream. Stream one is for Accounting and Bookkeeping, Office Administration, which is intended for newcomers with a background in these subjects and who live anywhere in BC.

Meanwhile, streams two and three are for newcomers with professional experience in any regulated occupations that require a license to work in that occupation in BC. Other common terms that mean the same thing as regulated are “certified” and “registered.”

To qualify for any of the discussed streams, applicants must be a newcomer with a Permanent Residency status, have lived in Canada for less than five years, be at least 18 years old, and not currently on EI or income assistance. 

For those unsure about whether or not their professional certification translates to local employment requirements, the program can help connect them with the right regulation agencies — and help them pay for their membership fees, credential assessments, and other relevant expenses to obtain employment or re-certification.

Career Paths will also provide guidance to individuals for hands-on work experience in the form of practicums, temporary employment, and mentoring — an invaluable part of starting a new job in a new country.

MOSAIC is a non-profit organization that provides support to immigrants and refugees in their resettlement and integration into Canadian culture. They also host an annual Job Fair every spring, which is open to all job seekers.

If you’d like to learn more about MOSAIC’s Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program or know someone who might benefit from the program, check out their website for more information.

Interested candidates are also encouraged to reach out at [email protected] for more information and to register for the program.

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