Eleven Fraser Valley residents from six different countries are getting a head start to employment in the retail sector, thanks to a special training program.
Job Connections for Immigrants is a provincially funded — $138,471 — program administered by Abbotsford Community Services.
The 21 week program began on May 16 and consists of 13 weeks of classroom time and eight weeks of in job placements.
The 90 hours of classroom time focuses on employability skills such as communication, life management, conflict resolution, the ability to search for a job and be interviewed successfully.
Then, more than 206 hours will be spent learning the ins and outs of workplaces, such as culture, communication and literacy skills before gaining certifications in first aid, Food Safe, cashier training and more.
"Most immigrants don't feel settled or integrated until they have found meaningful employment," said Manpreet Grewal, director of multicultural and immigrant integration services at Abbotsford Community Services.
"Programs like Job Connections for Immigrants go a long way in building not only language and employability skills but also self-esteem and a community and network through the classroom which goes a long way in helping them find a job."