Have you just arrived in Canada? Are you looking for your first Canadian experience? Do you have an IEC temporary work permit?
As a newcomer, you might be lost in the cultural differences between employment in Canada and France. The contrasts reach far beyond formal résumé formats, it also includes the way you sell or talk about yourself during an interview and the way you look for opportunities. Though skills may be the same from one country to another, what employers look for is different because standards vary between countries. This is why it is important to understand how your performance will be measured.
In Vancouver, you will find many agencies who offer their services to help you to transpose your current résumé into the Canadian format. If you want to understand the Canadian job market deeply and acquire the tools to get a face-to-face interview successfully, as well as to get the job, taking a job search workshop might be a good opportunity to quickly understand the Canadian job market.
This article presents Workplace English, a week-long intensive workshop designed by the Collège Éducacentre, mainly targeted toward francophone WHV holders (PVT in French), and which helps French-speaking job-seekers quickly adapt to the Canadian job market and the different requirements.
Presentation of Workplace English (BC Program)
Workplace English is a program that was developed in 2009. What distinguishes it from other government programs is that it has been shaped, with time, according to the demand of the PVT holders and their requirements. As a matter of fact, more than 60% of the participants are PVT holders.
During the week, participants will learn:
- listening and writing exercises related to their job search,
- pronunciation tips for phone conversations,
- examples of typical interview questions with advice on how to approach answering them,
- pre-interview preparation through dynamic role-playing exercises to prepare participants for speaking about themselves.
What are the program benefits?
Workplace English is providing opportunities for participants to develop broad areas of skills in order to master their job search. BC Talents highlights four benefits of the program:
- Efficiency in your job search
Workplace English commits to giving participants useful tools and tips to better understand Canadian culture and succeed in the job search. As opposed to France, there are many job opportunities in Canada. The national rate of unfilled jobs in Canada is 3 percent, which represents, according to Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s June 2018 Help Wanted report, about 407,000 private sector jobs which have remained unfilled for at least four months.
- Train in a welcoming learning environment
Workplace English is a supportive setting for you to practice your skills. The job search skills and knowledge you bring over from France or Europe will be challenged and further developed in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Spencer Gee, the instructor, is deeply committed to your needs and goals and is eager to work closely with participants to help them customize the program to suit their needs. Also, the relatively small group size for the workshop ensures that each participant receives individual attention and a personalized curriculum.
- Wise up to the notion of hard skills and soft skills
Developing interpersonal skills is a major component of the program. Workplace English emphasizes the importance of soft skills. In Canada, the notion of soft skills matters a lot, which is important as immigrants generally have different soft skills, as they are measured by cultural standards. Your soft skills are your ability to work with people. In a word, the recruiters want to know about your work experience but also how you may fit with the company’s current team.
- Improve your networking skills
In Canada, networking can have a significant impact on your job search, as it might be the most efficient way to find a job. The workshop teaches you not to waste your time researching in the wrong direction. This research is critical to successful networking. Thanks to Workplace English, you will go beyond “networking for the sake of networking”, as pointed out by Spencer Gee. Networking requires interpersonal skills and can be a way of communicating your value.
Want more information about the program?
Over the years, Collège Éducacentre has cultivated a supportive environment that allows past participants to succeed in their job search. As Spencer Gee reminds us, the program “requires a medium-high level of English, yet a lot of PVT already erase themselves, believing the class will be too hard for them. This is why it is important to email me and to have a pre-chat with me. 90% of interested people are totally qualified for it”.