The year 2015 was a big one for Mohamad. After immigrating to Canada from Turkey with his parents and siblings in August that year, Mohamad began working two jobs to support his family. Looking to learn more about the Canadian workplace and develop new skills in the construction sector, Mohamad applied for the Home Renovation for Newcomers program offered at Centre for Skills Development in January 2019.
Over the course of the ten-week program, Mohamad and his classmates received hands-on practical training in residential construction and renovation, enhanced language training in the area of home renovation and comprehensive safety training including First Aid, WHMIS and CPR.
"The Home Renovations for Newcomers program is great for helping transition newcomers into the Canadian workplace, because not only does it provide hands-on training, but enhanced language training specific to the area of work they are looking to develop their career in," says Alhyssa Bofill, Coordinator of Centre for Skills Trades Exploration Program for Youth. "They first learn the names of tools, then how to use them. Eventually, they work towards building the foundation of a home from start to finish."
While in the program, Mohamad also worked with a Centre for Skills' Settlement Information Specialist, who helped him prepare for his citizenship test by providing resources, tools and tips to help him study. After successfully passing his citizenship test and graduating from the Home Renovation for Newcomers program, Mohamad was ready to put his newly developed skills and experience to work.
With the support from Centre for Skills' Employment Services and the Trades Workforce Development Specialist Mike Harwood, Mohamad secured full-time employment with a construction company and was supplied with work tools through these Employment Services supports, minimizing his costs.
"We look to match our clients with employers that give our students a chance to implement what they have learned in the construction shop. In our exit interview from the program, we give them an opportunity to share what aspects of their training they enjoyed. Based on the accumulated responses, we then provide various employers we think would be a good match and forward their resumes," says Mike.
Matching the right employer to the client can play a vital role in setting them on the right path for career success.
"The employer must be patient with the client during the learning curve since the graduate is not only new to the business, but English is not their primary language," says Mike. "Matching these clients up with the right employer that is willing to help them adjust to the everyday work life is important to their long-term success."
After seven months of gaining valuable work experience, Mohamad felt confident in his abilities and moved onto another opportunity as a Professional Drywaller.
To learn more about our Immigration and Settlement Services, Employment Services, Employer Services or Skilled Trades programs, visit centreforskills.ca