BC’s Skills Connect for Immigrants Program, a three-year-old initiative funded jointly by the federal and provincial governments assists newcomers in figuring out the intricacies of a Canadian job search.
By Wanda Chow, Burnaby Newsleader
When Luis Masaya immigrated to Canada from Guatemala early last year, he came with an education in computer science and experience teaching at university and working in the United States.
But he couldn’t find work here.
It was some months before he realized that in Guatemala, “everyone is a generalist,” having several different responsibilities that in Canada would translate into several different job positions.
When Masaya, now 44, applied for jobs, they’d ask what his experience was. “When I tell them I can do a lot of things, they don’t see the depth.” Or they’d see his academic experience and assumed he wanted to teach.
Help in figuring out the intricacies of a Canadian job search came in the form of the Skills Connect for Immigrants Program, a three-year-old initiative funded jointly by the federal and provincial governments.
The program provides up to one year of support to newcomers. To be eligible, participants must be permanent residents of Canada, having arrived within the last five years, unemployed or underemployed and proficient in English.
Eileen Wang, program manager at the Burnaby location, said the majority of participants find work, if they’re actively looking, within five to seven months of starting the program.