"New land, no job"
2005年 04月 10日
But Success Skills Centre can help
By DEAN PRITCHARD
Winnipeg Sun, March 21, 2005
Gaozhi Jiang moved to Canada 16 months ago to seek a different life for his four-year-old son. What the mechanical engineer, who is originally from China and was educated in Japan, didn't know was how hard it would be to find a job in his new home.
"I want to work in my field and I want my professional engineer's licence. But I can't get a licence without experience, so you have to be hired at first. To get a paid job is very important."
Enter Success Skills Centre.
For the past 20 years, the non-profit organization has helped skilled and professional immigrants develop the talents they need to get the jobs they want.
"Basically the problem has been one of certification," said centre director Monika Feist. "The employers need to trust that the individuals really know what it is that they know."
Success helps immigrants pursue additional schooling and volunteer opportunities in their professions. It also aids in resume writing, interview preparation and adjusting to a new culture.
Just as importantly, the centre is a support haven for immigrants struggling to find their way in a strange new country.
"It's not counselling that we offer -- it's friendship," said labour market specialist Tayeb Meridji.
That support is important for new immigrants who often suffer long bouts of stress and depression.
"My counsellor taught me how to be patient," said Ukraine native Tatyana Krylov, who moved to Winnipeg six months ago from Israel where she worked as a French teacher. Krylov was recently hired as a librarian at Regent Park School.
"Success Skills was very important for me. Because of their help I got a job," she said.
An estimated 76% of nearly 4,000 immigrants who have come through the centre have found jobs in their professions, said Feist.
Jiang is still waiting, but he recently completed a promising volunteer placement as a technologist at the Industrial Technology Centre.
"At least now I can write something in my resume to prove that I have Canadian work experience," he said.
- On the web: www.successskills.mb.ca