Internationally trained professionals make significant contributions to workplaces across Canada by bringing a wealth of knowledge, diverse experience, and fresh perspectives. But they often face challenges associated with gaps in skills and understanding of Canadian work environments including language, culture, and common business practices. This is why skill-building for internationally trained workers is essential to empowering your overall workforce.
Companies that employ newcomers to Canada can support their employees in overcoming these obstacles, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction. In many cases, small investments of time and resources can go a long way to supporting newcomers in building skills and strategies for success in a Canadian context.
Benefit from bringing newcomers on board
As internationally trained professionals continue to represent a greater proportion of the Canadian talent pool, there are numerous benefits to hiring, retaining, and supporting newcomers. For instance:
- Companies can fill vacancies with qualified candidates who have the right skills, knowledge, and experience for your business.
- Internationally trained workers help to increase diversity in the workplace, which is known to give companies a competitive advantage.
- With newcomers who speak different languages and understand other cultures from a business perspective, companies can use their skills and knowledge to help target other markets on a global scale.
- Internationally trained professionals can offer new ideas and approaches to solving problems, increasing productivity, and improving morale.
Investing in your newcomer workforce makes good business sense
If your company sees the value and importance in skill-building for internationally trained professionals in the workplace, we have a few ideas to get you started:
- Occupation-specific Language Training (OSLT)
Occupation-specific Language Training are free courses offered to newcomers looking to improve their workplace communication skills within specific sectors including automotive trades, business, construction trades, health sciences, human services, and technology. The courses can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis and are offered at several Ontario colleges including Centennial College, George Brown College, Georgian, Humber, Seneca, Sheridan, and Mohawk College as well as online. Companies can encourage their employees to participate and gain valuable work-oriented language training at no cost.
- Bridging programs
Offered by colleges, universities, occupational regulatory bodies, and community organizations, bridging programs help qualified professionals and tradespeople acquire the workplace experience, licensing or certification, and language training that they need to join the Canadian labour market. Typically, there is a fee for these programs but the Ontario government offers a bridge training bursary. If newcomers at your company would like to advance their careers through bridging programs, employers can help them by offering financial support or flexible work arrangements to allow them to study for and complete certification or licensing exams.
- Mentoring programs
Mentoring programs are beneficial to all new employees because they make their transition into the workplace more seamless. Pair an internationally trained professional with an experienced staff member who can be available to show them around the workplace, answer their questions, and provide them with a better understanding of the nuances in Canadian business practices. Both parties will benefit from a healthy exchange of effective communication techniques, cultural perspectives, and respect for diversity.
- Team-building activities
Encourage a deeper understanding of and appreciation for what everyone – Canadian or international – brings to the table. Team-building activities are like social events in a professional environment. Not only will regular team-building activities help newcomers integrate into the workplace, they will give all colleagues a chance to get to know one another better and will enhance everyone’s communication skills, cultural competencies, and diversity awareness.
- Career development
Providing career development opportunities to internationally trained workers not only benefits the individual but the company as well. Managers and supervisors should have regular discussions with newcomers to identify their career development objectives and create plans to help them achieve their goals. Be sure to include internationally trained professionals in formal leadership programs, provide coaching to help them hone their communication and leadership abilities, and offer flexibility and support to allow them to pursue their certification or licensing.
- Canada’s Best Diversity Employers
This competition, now in its 12th year, recognizes Canadian employers that have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs. Take a look at the Canada’s Best Diversity Employers website for detailed descriptions of each winner’s initiatives and commitments to cultivating diversity in their workplaces.
At Marberg, we have established an expansive pool of pre-screened qualified candidates, many of whom are newcomers to Canada. We often place internationally trained professionals in a variety of office roles with great success. If you are interested in hiring an internationally trained worker or would like more information on how you can support their skill-building endeavours, contact one of our experienced recruiters.