Job Search Resources For New Immigrants in British Columbia

job resources for new immigrants

One of the priorities of a new immigrant is to settle into the new community smoothly. This includes getting a job within a few weeks of arriving in Canada. In this article, you will find job search resources for new immigrants in British Columbia (B.C.). As someone who is relatively new to British Columbia, you may be having difficulty finding employment. There are many reasons why many find it difficult to get a job. They may include the following:

  • little knowledge about how B.C.’s labour market works
  • qualifications may not be recognized
  • profession is regulated
  • you may need to upgrade your English language skills

If you find yourself in this situation, you are not alone. Fortunately, there are programs designed to help you overcome these hurdles. The interesting thing is that they are available at no cost. Some of the programs can help you develop the skills you need to connect with jobs.


You will find below some programs and resources that can be of help irrespective of your situation.

1. Career Paths

Career Paths is a practical and unique program customized to participant needs. The program can help you to build an action plan, get your credentials assessed and receive financial support to help you upgrade. British Columbia has a growing economy and job market. Employers and communities are looking for workers in many different areas. Career Paths is designed to connect immigrants to jobs in B.C.

For in-demand occupations, Career Paths offers support specific to your occupation, More so, they help you find skilled employment that uses the education and experience you bring to Canada. The program has three streams listed below:

  • First: You have education and experience in an in-demand occupation in B.C. and require language or skill upgrading.
  • Second: You need assistance with upgrading your credentials for an occupation regulated in B.C.
  • Third: You need assistance with upgrading for an unregulated B.C. occupation.

Stream 1: In-Demand Occupations

In this stream, Career Paths will give you specialized support to obtain employment. You may receive up to 22 months of support to help you reach your employment goal. Support includes but not limited to:

  • career counselling specific to your occupation
  • support to get re-certification education
  • English language training specific to your occupation, if you do not meet the language standards of your industry
  • specific supports that employers in your field have told us will help you succeed in B.C.

Stream 2: Regulated Occupations

If you are in a regulated profession, this stream is for you. More than 280 occupations in B.C. fall within regulated profession. To work in a regulated occupation, you require a license or certification and each regulated occupation has different standards. A regulatory authority assesses the qualifications of applicants who were trained in other countries.

In addition, you will also get support to explore an alternative career. For some immigrants, this may be a practical option for many reasons. For example, you may find out that the demand for your occupation is low or your qualifications are not recognized in B.C. In this stream, you may receive up to 20 months of support to reach your employment goal. You will find below the types of support you can get under this stream:

  • individual career coaching and help with building an action plan
  • help with preparing for exams
  • financial support for upgrading your skills, including language training
  • other support required to help you succeed in B.C.

As a new immigrant, you most likely lack experience working in Canada. So, the career counselors can help you find a practicum or temporary employment in your field while you work on obtaining your Canadian credentials.

Stream 3: Unregulated Occupations

Under this stream, Career Paths can assist you to find employment in any unregulated occupation. This is especially if your current occupation is not practiced in B.C or the demand for it is low. You may receive up to 11 months of support to reach your employment goal. Support may include:

  • individual career coaching and help building an action plan
  • financial support for upgrading (including language training)

Eligibility for Career Paths

You are eligible for Career Paths if you:

  • became a permanent resident of Canada within the last five years
  • are certified in a profession, trade or skilled occupation from your home country or
  • have a minimum of three years of work experience in a profession, trade or high-skill occupation prior to coming to Canada. If you are between the ages of 19 to 30 years old, you only need a minimum of one year of work experience prior to coming to Canada.
  • have an intermediate to advanced level of English language proficiency
  • are unemployed and not receiving Employment Insurance or BC Employment Assistance OR are working in a job that is not in your field

To know more the the services and how to apply, search for the service providers in your city.


2. WorkBC Centres

WorkBC Centres can help you understand the local labour market and offer employment services. They also provide supports to ensure you are successful in landing a job. Through WorkBC centres, you can access employment services including job search resources and employment planning.

Also, personal services and supports are available to job seekers who need a more tailored approach than self-directed job search tools and workshops. The staff at the WorkBC Employment Services Centres will work with you to find out how they can help you. Visit your local centre to learn more about the services you can get access to.

Eligibility For WorkBC Centres

The program is available to all unemployed British Columbians including new immigrants. The major requirement is that you are seeking employment and are legally eligible to work in B.C.

You can learn more about the eligibility criteria by visiting their website.

3. Job Search Resources For New Immigrants

You will find below some job resources for new immigrants. They can help you learn about job demand and opportunities and also help you find a job.

In addition, you can also take these steps below:

  • Check the online job listings or the classified sections of your local newspapers.
  • Contact the employment departments of organizations where you would like to work.
  • Ask friends and family living in B.C. to refer you for jobs.
  • Get support from a settlement services agency in B.C.
  • Find volunteer opportunities to help you gain Canadian work experience.
  • Call or visit a Service Canada Centre for information on government of Canada employment services and training help.

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