Bridge training programs can help immigrants and refugees achieve career success in Canada: Here are 3 benefits
Published March 6, 2023.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
- Bridge training or bridging programs are rapid educational programs that help immigrants and refugees obtain the credentials and skills needed to work in their field in Canada.
- These programs can focus on in-demand fields like information technology (IT), engineering, construction and health care, empowering individuals to navigate the Canadian job market and even provide networking opportunities.
- Ultimately, bridge training programs can help immigrants and refugees achieve their professional goals and reach their full professional potential in Canada.
“I knew I was going to live and work in a new country with a different workplace culture than mine. So, to avoid some common mistakes, I needed to be educated about that new culture.” - Jules Gwet, internationally-trained IT professional, former Windmill Microlending client and Humber College bridge training graduate
A bridge to achieving your career goals in Canada? It may be time to consider crossing into the world of bridging programs.
Immigrants and refugees to Canada often face challenges in finding employment that matches their skills and experience. This can be due to various factors, such as language barriers, lack of work experience in Canada and unfamiliarity with Canadian job search techniques. Bridge training programs are designed to help immigrants and refugees overcome these barriers and gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their Canadian careers.
What is a bridge training program?
Bridge training or bridging programs are educational programs that help newcomers obtain the credentials and skills needed to work in their field in Canada. These practical programs can be found in several provinces providing targeted, industry-specific training, mentoring and work experience to help individuals bridge the gap between their previous education, and work experience (from their country of origin), and the Canadian job market's expectations and requirements. These programs can focus on in-demand fields like information technology (IT), engineering, construction and health care, empowering individuals to navigate the Canadian job market and even provide networking opportunities.
Some of these programs can last between 10 and 20 weeks, while others, particularly in the regulated fields, may last for a year or more.
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By participating in a bridge training program, internationally-trained newcomers can benefit from increased career opportunities, higher earning potential and greater job satisfaction. These programs can help individuals obtain the necessary certifications, licenses, or credentials needed to work in regulated as well as non-regulated professions. They can also provide individuals with language and communication skills or technical training, to help them excel in their chosen profession. Ultimately, bridge training programs can help you achieve your professional goals and reach your full professional potential in Canada.
The Windmill Microlending blog asked the team from Toronto’s Humber College Newcomer Programs and Services to outline three of the benefits to new Canadians of bridging programs. Pritam Shrestha, Manager, Immigrant Programs and Services at Humber College explains bridge training programs like Humber’s offerings in the areas of IT, cloud solutions and supply chain management can help newcomers to refresh or upgrade their skills and connect with hiring employers.
Toronto’s Humber College offers specialized short-term bridge training programs to help newcomers to upgrade their skills and connect with hiring employers.
Here are three bridge training benefits Shrestha identifies:
Benefit #1: Build your professional network in Canada while you refresh/upgrade your technical knowledge and skills
Shrestha indicates bridging programs help new Canadians make connections with professionals to employers in their field. These professionals can mentor newcomers or simply provide them with information about their desired occupation in Canada and even connect them to relevant employers. As well, bridging programs help newcomers build their confidence while increasing their familiarity with companies that can benefit from their skills, knowledge and experience. These programs also help internationally-trained professionals better understand what Canadian employers are looking for as they recruit talent.
Benefit #2: Learn about Canada's workplace culture and communications
An effective bridge training program helps newcomers learn about the expectations and norms of the Canadian workplace. From technical standards and sector-specific terminology to communications practices and industry trends, bridging programs help newcomers become familiar with what it means to contribute and collaborate within the Canadian workforce. As well, instructors are industry-professionals meaning they can speak from experience about what challenges and opportunities the Canadian workplace holds.
WATCH: Humber College’s Pritam Shrestha shares three career benefits of bridge training programs for internationally-trained professionals in Canada.
Benefit #3: Understand how to promote yourself in the Canadian job market
A unique benefit of bridge training programs in Canada is how they can help internationally-trained professionals highlight the skills and experience they already possess from their country of origin and promote those assets to Canadian employers. Another component of a strong bridging program is job search training, interview and resume preparation, as well as, job leads development pointing you to specific job opportunities you can pursue while in the program or after you have completed it. This includes job postings not publicly advertised. Some bridging programs organize hiring and networking events where participants can directly connect with employers and recruiters.
Below, you can find listings of some of the bridge training programs available in different parts of Canada.
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