A program at Archway Community Services in Abbotsford is helping newcomers find employment related to their former careers.
The Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program is designed to break the stereotype of, for example, doctors driving taxis, and provides newcomers with one-to-one support, financial assistance and training by employment counsellors.
When Sumit Paul Singh immigrated to Canada in 2016, he planned to open a physiotherapy clinic like the clinics he had owned in India.
He quickly found out that his licensing didn’t transfer and the process of getting certified was long and expensive. In a moment of desperation, Singh considered becoming a security guard or care aide so he could support his family.
When he became connected with the Career Paths program, he began to feel like he could “get his life back.” After 20 months in the program, he obtained licensing and is proud to be the first registered manual osteopath in B.C.
Singh now works full-time at the Newleaf Total Wellness Centre and various other centres.
“It was a total transition of my life and now I’m living my dreams,” he said.
“It gave me direction, knowledge, financial support and better understanding to reach my goal to become a registered manual osteopath in such a short period of time.”
Mary Finch, the program coordinator for Career Paths, said it’s rewarding to see clients regain hope and independence.
“With the continuing labour shortage, it’s in everyone’s best interests to have workers using their full potential,” she said.
“Our program is tailored to each individual to help them find something suitable and figure out the steps to obtaining meaningful employment using their experience or training abroad.
“The barriers newcomers face can be financial or sometimes it’s just a lack of awareness of the Canadian working culture that stops them from getting hired.”
Visits Archway.ca/CPSI for more information. Funding for Career Paths is provided by the provincial and federal governments.