Skills Connect for Immigrants
BC 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 BC that build on their pre-arrival skills, training, knowledge, and experience.
This is achieved through providing services and supports to:
effectively assess recent immigrants’ skills, qualifications and experiences;
provide career counseling and planning;
skill upgrading and other enhancements, including workplace language support to meet BC 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 BC’s employees can develop and respond positively to changing workplace demands and economic challenges.
Many BC immigrants possess skills in occupations where there are shortages, but face numerous barriers 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 since the program’s inception in July 2006 include:
provision of services to approximately 10,000 skilled immigrants,
a post-program labour market attachment rate of approximately 80% (compared with 38% pre-program).
Skills Connect for Immigrants program is currently offered in all regions of BC Five agencies were awarded contracts effective September 1st, 2009 to deliver Skills Connect services. They include: Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training, 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 funded through contributions from both the provincial government, and federal funding sources including Citizenship and Immigration Canada under the Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and through the Labour Market Agreement.