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How young newcomers can prepare for the Canadian workforce

Young newcomers to Canada have a future filled with possibility. The opportunity to go to school, start work and find a fulfilling career is very exciting. At the same time, settling into a new country, and, possibly, a new language can be difficult. With the proper tools, knowledge and support, young newcomers can build the foundation for a successful future in Canada. Here are some important steps newcomer youth can take to prepare for a successful entry into the Canadian workforce.

Gain Canadian work experience

Everyone joining the workforce needs to start somewhere. Employers in Canada look for job candidates whose education and skill set will be valuable in the workplace. But young people don’t need wait to finish school to gain experience. Instead, they can gain tangible work experience through some of the following options:

  • Co-operative Education: Co-ops allow students to study and gain experience in a specific field of work at the same time. The co-op is supervised and evaluated by the employer and the school together. Consult with a high school guidance counselor to learn more about co-op opportunities.
  • Job Fairs: A job fair is where employers present information about their company or industry to potential employees. You can find job fair events near you by searching online, or by checking with your local high school or library. Jobs Canada also lists job fairs across the country, and offers this handy checklist to help you prepare.
  • Volunteering: There are countless local organizations that benefit from the hard work and dedication of volunteers. Volunteering allows you to develop new connections and gain important skills for the workforce. Volunteer Canada, for example, can be a great resource to find volunteer work.

Improve English language skills

Proficient English is essential to success in the Canadian job market. Most post-secondary institutions have English training programs available to students if English is not their first language. There are also language classes available that are funded by the Government of Canada.

Develop a resume

A resume is a document that tells a detailed story about your education, skills and work-related experience. Prospective employers will use your resume to evaluate if you are qualified for a job. Typically, an employer will review your resume before meeting you in person, so it is crucial that your resume be well written and reflective of your strengths and talents as a potential employee. The Government of Canada offers some tips for writing a good resume.

Find a local mentoring program

Canada offers several organizations and programs geared toward mentoring youth to ensure they have the tools and resources they need for a successful future. Scotiabank is proud to partner with one such organization: Pathways to Education. Pathways to Education is a national charitable organization that creates positive social change by supporting youth living in low-income communities to overcome barriers to education, graduate high school and gain the foundation to a bright future in Canada.

Scotiabank recently announced a $750,000 investment to support newcomer and immigrant youth enrolled in the Pathways program. Scotiabank’s pledge will create access for newcomer youth to a network of community support, including English language tutors, settlement services and employment skills training. Scotiabank hopes this investment will help young people gain life-long skills and knowledge that will lead them on a path toward a successful career and future in Canada.

By adopting the practices listed above, young newcomers can feel confident about entering the Canadian workforce. In addition to career goals, young newcomers should also start thinking about their financial future in Canada. The Scotiabank StartRight program connects newcomers with experienced Financial Advisors to learn about the Canadian financial system, help them reach personal financial goals through advice and provide resources and banking benefits.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as investment advice or guarantees about the future, nor should it be considered a recommendation to buy or sell. Information contained in this article, including information relating to interest rates, market conditions, tax rules, and other investment factors are subject to change without notice and The Bank of Nova Scotia is not responsible to update this information. All third party sources are believed to be accurate and reliable as of the date of publication and The Bank of Nova Scotia does not guarantee its accuracy or reliability. Readers should consult their own professional advisor for specific investment and/or tax advice tailored to their needs to ensure that individual circumstances are considered properly and action is taken based on the latest available information.