Newcomers to Canada face challenges that other Canadians don’t. For many highly qualified immigrants like Dhruvin Vora, finding a job in the land of opportunity is not as easy as one might think. Common barriers for newcomers include lack of Canadian experience, limited networks, and language obstacles. However, events like Lutherwood’s annual Bridging the Gap Conference for Internationally Trained Professionals, held on March 1st, can help make the experience of finding a job in their new country a more positive one.
“If you only apply for jobs from your home, you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere and it can become very isolating,” said Dhruvin, who arrived in Canada just two months ago from India. “It is great to come to an event like Bridging the Gap and meet other people with similar backgrounds, facing similar challenges.”
Bridging the Gap offered a unique opportunity for newcomers to connect with others through a networking breakfast and small group sessions with employers. For many participants, this was their first time interacting with Canadian employers face-to-face and their first chance to network in their new country. In a panel discussion, four panelists reinforced the importance of networking. One panelist warned that newcomers who only submit their resume online could be unemployed for one year longer than those who build personal connections.
By the end of the half day conference, Dhruvin had introduced himself to an employer that contacted him for an interview, handed his resume to two staffing agencies and made connections with a number of participants in his field. A big step forward from applying for jobs from his couch.
“It really uplifts your spirits and motivates you when you see others who are so positive about their job search,” said Dhruvin. And it might just be this small token of motivation that will help land newcomers like Dhruvin their first jobs in Canada.
Opportunities like Bridging the Gap are vital in helping newcomers find their way in their new country. The more we can continue to provide similar experiences, the faster newcomers will be able to build their confidence, their networks and ultimately find work that is meaningful to them.
Lutherwood wants to thank the participants who attended Bridging the Gap, the four panelists, Erica Groome (Conestoga College), Tom Lusis (County Of Wellington), Dina Zaki (Cargill) and Mustafa Morsy (DEI & Associates Inc.), as well as employers, City of Guelph, Aerotek, Shopify, ATS Automation, MaxSys Staffing and Consulting and Linamar.
Thank you for making Bridging the Gap a success!
"I didn't know anything about the children's mental health system when my daughter first needed help. Since then, Lutherwood has given us so much. Being part of the Committee is a way I can give back and make the system even better."