Newcomer Rebuilds His Career in Canada

Apr 02, 2019

Give me a ballpark number' may seem like a straightforward saying to someone who has grown up speaking English, but can be confusing to someone new to the country. 

There are many sayings similar to this used in the skilled trades industry by English speaking Canadians every day that can be difficult for immigrants to understand.

Even further, the building code and metric system used in Canada for construction can be entirely different in other countries.

That is something Gangjian quickly learned when moving to Canada in 2018 from China. With over 15 years experience in the construction industry, Gangjian even found hanging a TV in his Canadian house a challenge.
"Even the materials are different here in comparison to China," says Gangjian. "So I knew I had a lot of learning to do."

After taking Centre for Skills Development English classes, Gangjian saw a poster for the Home Renovation for Newcomers program and was immediately interested and asked his teacher for information on how to apply to the program.

Over the course of the ten-week program, Gangjian 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.

"After taking the Centre for Skills English program, my language skills were stronger but there were still so many things I had to learn in order to get into construction in this country. The program taught us the names of the tools, and then how to use them. We learned the building codes, and then built from the foundation of a house to finish."

After completing the program, Gangjian now looks forward to finding a job in home renovation. "I love construction; I have always had a passion for learning new skills and finding new ways to complete projects. This program taught me so much, my teachers were always available to answer my many questions and help us learn the skills that were both necessary, and specific to what we were interested in. I cannot wait to put the knowledge I've learned to use!"

To learn more about Centre for Skills Home Renovation for Newcomers program, visit: