A new pilot program is helping Canada’s immigrants find work in the environmental sector.
The program, which was initiated this February by the Calgary Catholic Immigrant Society (CCIS), provides six weeks of training to new arrivals in the area with a background in ecological fields.
“I think because it’s a growing and relatively new field, [employers] are interested in what other countries are doing, so the environmental professionals I can bring them give [them] an international perspective,” says Erin Donais, a CCIS program coordinator and administrator of the Environmental Immigrant Bridging program, who was pleasantly surprised at how welcoming employers were.
“With the environmental sector, they’re much more open to hiring people who’ve worked in the sector internationally because then they can share their experiences and learn from them.”
The program is especially helpful to new arrivals, because it focuses on soft skills, like language and Canadian business culture, points out Donais. The training helped 12 out of the program’s 15 participants to land permanent employment within two weeks of finishing the program.
“One thing I love about Canada is that you do get that support,” says British immigrant Ruth Ibemisem, who was one of the program’s trial participants and is now employed full time in the environmental industry. “You are able to go around to the various immigrant agencies and then you see the one that can actually meet your needs.”
Officials at the CCIS are hoping to secure more funding in the near future so that the program can continue in bridging eco-professionals with the employers who seek them.
Source: National Post