The 10th Annual Internationally Trained Professionals (ITP) Conference was held on June 8th at Douglas College. The theme of this year’s conference, Immigrant Integration: A Multi-Sectoral Approach is to offer employment counsellors, settlement workers, and other professionals who work closely with immigrants an opportunity to share their experience and speak to the challenges of cross-sectoral collaboration on immigrant integration.
This year’s Opening Keynote Speaker was Cynthia Murphy, the Director of the Canadian Immigration Integration Program (CIIP). Tracy Tennant, Manger of Recruitment and Learning & Development of TD Bank was invited as afternoon keynote speaker, who was also involved in the multi-sectoral panel discussion with Cynthia Murphy and Time Welsh, Program Director of Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC (AMSSA).
Other conference features included a Job Development and Employer Relations Panel, Compassionate Communications, Essential Skills, Soft Skills: A Non-Prescriptive Approach, and Career Mobility: Effective Talent Acquisition.
Cynthia Murphy talked about CIIP which prepares newcomers for economic integration while still in their home country. CIIP currently has offices in China, India, Philippines and the UK; its goal is to help new immigrants to be better equipped to secure appropriate employment in Canada. It provides new immigrant with pre-landing orientation training, includes labour market information, Canadian culture, soft skills and language requirements. Skilled immigrants should be better informed and more realistic about the opportunities and challenges they may face after landing in Canada.
More information about CIIP: www.newcomersuccess.ca
Kima Jones from SFU talked about soft skills: The session is to assist ITP in Canada to understand that Soft Skills are Essential skills in Canada. Soft skills training are needed in recruitment, retention and promotion. Kima mentioned that Retention is an area that needs more focus, as many ITP find the “perfect” job but can’t pass probation. The NOC and job postings are great resources to help ITP to indentify soft skills vs hard skills.
Wei Qiao Zhang from SUCCESS, Jim Quinn from ISSBC, Rosana Sablic from Training Innovations and John Coward from John Coward Consulting are in the panel of job development and employer relations: Challenges and needs of employers and ITP were discussed in the session. Top challenges are no Canadian experience, language/communication skills, Over-qualification and skills set, and Canadian workplace culture.
Victoria Pazukha from BC HRMA talked about Career Mobility: The ITP conference provided some insight as to how immigrant job seekers can participate in the workforce with regards to their career mobility. Once an immigrant job seeker is able to get an entry-level position, it will certainly bode well for them to take the opportunities not only to make lateral moves throughout the company, but to also move up the corporate ladder. Nestle was one large company that was referenced that does in fact provide opportunities for internal applicants to move all throughout the country to learn different skills to broaden their horizons. Any immigrant job seeker, especially with regards to finance, that gets the opportunity to world abroad should definitely consider the possibility and how it will enhance their future employment prospects.
If you have any questions about any of the topics discussed above, please contact your friendly Employment Counsellor for more information.