Newcomers work at finding a job

Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press

The Immigrant Centre is hosting its annual job fair, with more than 30 employers looking for workers.

Last year, 1,700 newcomers took part in the Immigrant Centre job fair, said Amie Membreno, manager of employment services at the centre.

“Unemployment is a very difficult problem to overcome, especially for newcomers to Canada with no Canadian work experience and poor English language skills,” Membreno said. The centre focuses on helping newcomers with lower levels of English — specifically those with Canadian Language Benchmark levels of four and lower.

Sixty per cent of their clients find employment within three months, Membreno said.

The majority who don’t find work struggled finding child care or with other settlement issues or decided to focus on English classes, she said.

Language requirements vary depending on the job.

For newspaper carriers delivering the Free Press in the early morning while subscribers sleep, for example, it’s not a big requirement, said Rick Swiergosz with the audience development department. The Free Press is participating in the job fair and looking for adults with vehicles to deliver papers for around three hours a day, six days a week. It pays an average $750 a month with the sort of work schedule that would accommodate someone who attends English classes during the day or evening.

Bison Transport is also taking part in the job fair and looking for office employees fluent in English, corporate recruiter Tara Gousseau said.

Gousseau said Bison Transport took part in the job fair last year, and it was worth it.

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