More funding dollars for immigrant integration in B.C.

Credit to Author: Canadian Immigrant| Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2019 21:03:34 +0000

New funding for Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants and BC Settlement and Integration Services announced at DIVERSEcity community campus

Immigrants will get more help settling in B.C. and finding careers in their fields as a result of additional funding from the provincial government that expands settlement services by more than 45 per cent — the highest level since 2014.

“This is a major step forward in delivering more and better opportunities for newcomers while helping our province benefit from the skills they bring with them,” said Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston while announcing the funding at the community campus of DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society in Surrey, B.C.

“Too often, people immigrating to our province haven’t been able to leverage their knowledge and experience into productive employment. The steps we’re taking will remove barriers to opportunities by expanding credential recognition supports, language training and other services, helping make their lives better and more fulfilling.”

Two programs specifically will benefit from the funding. The Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program will receive funding of $5.7 million — an increase of $2 million — to help people get their credentials assessed and find employment within their profession. This funding will help serve 1,600 people throughout B.C. — a 68 per cent increase from previous years.

“Our program helps immigrants transition their skills, education and experience so they can get jobs in their field,” said Valerie Lockyer, executive director, Douglas College, a Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants provider. “This funding has allowed us to hold more workshops and career counselling sessions, ultimately benefiting more people.”

BC Settlement and Integration Services (BCSIS) will also receive additional funding to provide more than 16,000 people with increased supports. This includes language training, employment resources and guidance navigating the immigration process.

“As the very first immigrant serving organization in the Fraser Valley, DIVERSEcity has had a long history in assisting new Canadians from all walks of life settle into their new communities in the Fraser Valley,” said Neelam Sahota, CEO of DIVERSEcity, a BCSIS provider. “[But] transitioning to a new country does not come without challenges. The B.C. government’s funding has allowed us to expand programs, including counselling, that help empower newcomers to become active participants in their community.”

“I came from Colombia in 2017 on a student and work visa, arriving with a limited understanding of the B.C. workplace,” said David Purzycki, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society program participant. “Thanks to the staff at DIVERSEcity, I now have a great resumé and the tools and skills to begin my job search.”

The province is investing $5.6 million in BCSIS, which serves more than 16,000 clients, in over 60 communities, throughout B.C. each year.