Skills Connect for Immigrants
British Columbia has a growing economy and an expanding job market – employers and communities are looking for workers in many different areas. Skills Connect for Immigrants is a practical and cutting-edge WelcomeBC program that can help you find the perfect employment fit. It uses an individual approach, tailored to you and your needs.
The Government of British Columbia understands that you have the skills, qualifications and experience we need. We are working with a number of different organizations to connect your job experience and qualifications with our workforce.
What is the Skills Connect for Immigrants Program?
The Skills Connect for Immigrants program (Skills Connect) is an individualized employment bridging program that helps skilled immigrants connect to jobs in B.C. that build on their pre-arrival skills, training, knowledge, and experience. There are two streams within the Skills Connect Program – General and Health.
This is achieved through providing services and supports to:
effectively assess recent immigrants’ skills, qualifications and experiences;
provide career counselling and planning;
promote skill upgrading and other enhancements, including workplace language support to meet B.C. labour standards;
offer workplace practice opportunities, such as mentoring, that will help immigrants secure and sustain employment.
The goal is to help skilled immigrants obtain employment that maximizes their pre-arrival skills, qualifications, and experience. Individual client services are delivered for a period of up to one year (two years for health sector occupations).
The Government of British Columbia works with educators, industry and other partners to ensure that B.C.’s employees can develop and respond positively to changing workplace demands and economic challenges.
Many B.C. immigrants possess skills in occupations where there are shortages, but face numerous barriers to attaining work aligned with their pre-arrival skills, qualifications, and experience. Key barriers are a lack of Canadian work experience, insufficient language proficiency, non-recognition of qualifications and difficulty navigating an unfamiliar labour market. The Skills Connect for Immigrants program, established in July 2006, helps immigrants overcome these barriers.
Key outcomes of Skills Connect include:
provision of services to approximately 14,000 skilled immigrants since the program began in 2006; and
an employment rate of 79% for Skills Connect General graduates and 69% for Skills Connect Health graduates in 2013-14.
The Skills Connect for Immigrants program is currently offered in all regions of B.C. Five agencies were awarded contracts effective September 1st, 2009 to deliver Skills Connect services. They include: the Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training (ASPECT), Back in Motion Rehab Inc., Douglas College, Immigrant Services Society of BC and Training Innovations Inc. Clients in health professions continue to have specialized services at two of these organizations: Back in Motion Rehab Inc. and Douglas College.
Skills Connect is managed by the Provincial government and is funded through contributions from both the provincial and federal governments.