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Colleges work together to facilitate immigrant training needs

By Workplace Staff
| www.cos-mag.com

Communication skills are often a barrier for immigrants seeking work in the Canadian business community.

Success in the Workplace, a new program at Bow Valley College (BVC), focuses on breaking down those barriers and helping immigrant professionals improve the skills they need to be competitive and effective in the workplace.

Success in the Workplace is an offshoot of BVC’s highly successful Corporate Readiness Training Program, which helps skilled immigrants gain Canadian work experience in their fields of expertise.

With a launch date of September 2009, the 16-week pilot program will be free of charge to all participants.

Conrad Murphy, Bow Valley College’s Director of TOWES/Centre for Career Advancement, expects success from the program, which is launched in partnership with Vancouver Community College and Toronto’s Seneca College.

“Canada needs to address key gaps in the labour force,” Murphy says. “BVC has consistently have advocated continuous learning, training, and development to our highly educated immigrant students.

“The Success in the Workplace program will provide the clients an opportunity to continue with their skills development, ultimately building the country’s knowledge economy,” he notes.

The program welcomes such foreign-trained professionals as engineers, accountants, geologists, bankers, architects, and chemists. The curriculum is based on the Essential Skills framework identified by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), helping participants build skills in oral communications, writing, critical thinking, and working with others.

Through the use of case studies and simulation activities, participants will be coached in giving feedback, making presentations, communicating clearly and accurately, and writing professionally. Training will include classroom and online instruction, facilitating time flexibility with face-to-face coaching and class work.

The program is funded and supported by HRSDC and the Government of Canada’s Office of Literacy and Essential Skills.

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