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Partner Preview: Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia

Thursday February 16, 2017 | by Sahra Togone

Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISSofBC) is the largest immigrant-serving agency in Western Canada. Incorporated in 1972, the agency has grown to support a full range of services for immigrants and refugees. The organization provides settlement, education, and employment services in centers located in the Metro Vancouver, Squamish, and Okanagan areas. Through a dedicated team of volunteers, ISSofBC provides support services to 25,000 clients per year in over 45 languages.

Here are some of the programs offered by ISSofBC for skilled immigrants:

Settlement Program-Employment

The Settlement Program provides newcomers with valuable information regarding British Columbia’s job market. Newcomers looking for employment are provided with valuable resources, such as detailed career plans and support as they prepare to enter the Canadian workforce.

ISSofBC settlement program provides:

  • Referrals to employment resources, programs, and training
  • Information on community events, workshops, and career fairs
  • Help with researching the labour market and finding employment options
  • Résumé and cover letter support
  • Coaching on interview techniques and job search strategies
  • Guidance in understanding hiring practices and BC employment customs

Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants

If you are a newcomer with professional experience and are having a hard time finding work in your field, this program is designed for you. The career path program offers specialized training for skilled immigrants who have a background in technology, construction, and engineering.

The ISSofBC Career Paths program provides:

  • Action planning that is tailored to your career goals
  • English training and workplace language training
  • One-on-one job search support for your targeted occupation
  • Partially or fully funded skills training and upgrading
  • Mentoring and networking opportunities
  • Opportunities to gain Canadian work experience through work placements

Alternative Careers in Technology

Immigrant Pathways to Alternative Careers in Technology (IMPACT) is a program for newcomers who face barriers finding work in a regulated profession. IMPACT shows newcomers how they can use their experience in technology to find work and to consider alternative careers in unregulated professions. In addition, IMPACT assists employers in hiring newcomers for their in-demand skills in unregulated occupations.

Past webinars about alternative careers have focused on:

  • Information and communications technology (ICT)
  • Engineering
  • Environmental and life sciences
  • Life sciences

Maple 2.0 Mentorship

If you are looking for Canadian work experience, ISSofBC Maple 2.0 mentorship is the perfect opportunity to gain valuable experience. The mentorship program is a 4- to 12-week placement that is geared toward Internationally Trained Professionals (ITP). It helps ITPs gain Canadian work experience many employers require to compete in the job market.

Maple 2.0 Mentorship features:

  • Canadian work experience in your profession through three-month unpaid mentorship placements
  • Access to knowledgeable staff, career advisors, training, and mentors who supervise you during your placements who provide advice and valuable input on your career transition
  • Opportunities to create and expand your professional networks in Canada
  • Opportunities to acquire “Canadian References”

Whether you have just landed in Canada or have worked here for a few years and are considering a change in your career path, ISSofBC can help you get on the right track.

Sahra Togone

Sahra Togone is a Research and Policy Intern at WES Global Talent Bridge Canada.