A black magnifying glass sits on top of a newspaper. The word "Jobs" is highlighted under the magnifying glass.

As a newcomer to Canada, how can I find work?

Finding employment is one of the most important tasks facing newcomers. Settlement teams play an important role in helping newcomers develop a job-search and employment plan and in understanding the particularities of Canadian work culture. Because you may have been out of the workforce for a long time, you may be anxious that you have lost skills. Or you may want to make up for years in detention by achieving employment right away.

If you have particular skills or interests, it helps to research employers who need those skills. Good places to start are the Canadian government jobs website, Job Bank Canada, Indeed, Career Builder Canada, Eluta, Monster and Simply Hired.

Settlement agencies will frequently offer classes on resume writing and skills development and these are frequently offered in multiple languages. It is important to develop a resume and also to understand tools that may be used for networking such as LinkedIn. You can work with members of your settlement team to practice the interview process, since they can help prepare you for what a Canadian interview may be like. Volunteer positions can also be a good way to get practical knowledge of the Canadian workplace, practice your English, meet new friends and potentially get job leads or future job references. But it is important to understand that volunteer work is unpaid. Volunteer Canada provides important information and resources to start.

Many of you will have worked in skilled trades (for ex., construction, welding, hairdressing and cosmetology) before you left your home country. Before you think about working in these areas again, you might need to take courses that refresh your knowledge of the trade, allow you to learn the specialist English vocabulary associated with your job, or that allow you to become certified to work in that area.

In Canada, many trades are regulated and workers will need to have a Certificate of Qualification or be a registered apprentice. The Red Seal Program sets common standards for tradespeople in Canada. Newcomers should use the Job Bank to find the name of their occupation in Canada, find out if it is regulated and get labour market information. You can also search under “College of Trades X” or “X Apprenticeship and Trade Certification”, with “X” being the name of the province or territory that you live in when you arrive.

Newcomers interested in the skilled trades might also want to consider an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is a post-secondary education program consisting of on-the-job training provided by the employer and technical training at an approved technical training provider. Apprentices are paid for their work and can also apply for government grants.

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