Helping a newcomer select an employment service
There are many factors to consider when selecting an employment service. (See article on “Role of an Employment Service“.)
Here are some key elements to think about:
- Geographic location – Can the newcomer get there easily, independently?
- Does the service offer personal and workshop communications in the newcomer’s own language?
- Types of programs and services offered:
- Are their training or other programs relevant to the newcomer’s employment plan?
- Are services one-on-one, in groups, or self-directed?
- What level of English does the newcomer need to benefit most from the services offered?
- Are there fees for services?
- What is the agency’s track record? How many clients has it placed and in what types of jobs?
- Does the agency offer ongoing support to the newcomer (and/or the employer) once the newcomer is placed in a job?
- How interested is the employment service in collaborating with private sponsors or others helping newcomers?
In approaching the search for an employment service, one might start with a web-based geographic search using a site like FindHelp.ca or Employment Ontario. Those results can then be narrowed down by type of program or service and language or services and then visiting one or more employment services, to find a good fit.
A newcomer will often hear through ‘word-of-mouth’ that a particular employment service offers good results and therefore want to sign up with that service. Those helping newcomers may wish to ensure that some other good options are also considered, especially if the service provider’s office is not located nearby.
The following employment services are among those that have Arabic-speaking counsellors and may offer some workshops in Arabic (but not necessarily in each of their offices):
- ACCES Employment
- WoodGreen Employment Services
- Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office
- COSTI Immigrant Services
Some employment services may offer very specific programs which would beneficial to the newcomer. In this case, program may trump location and efforts should be made to find a way to assist the newcomer with transportation.
As an example, the following employment services and settlement agencies offer unique, sector-specific programs:
- ACCES Employment – Construction Trades Program for individuals interested in working in the construction sector (and in particular craft and masonry work). ACCES also offers special sector programs for these skilled occupations:
- Financial Services
- Information Technology
- Human Resources
- Sales and Marketing
- Supply Chain
- WoodGreen Employment Services – Newcomer Professional Bridging Programs in Finance/Accounting, IT, Health Care, and Office Administration.
- Catholic Cross Cultural Services – Specialized language training and volunteer placement opportunities for internationally trained health care professionals;
- Mennonite New Life Centers of Toronto – program to help internationally trained mental health professionals integrate successfully in the Canadian mental health labour market. Combining classroom instruction, supervised work experience and job search supports;
Newcomers are permitted to receive some types of services from multiple employment service providers. However, some programs delivered on behalf of Employment Ontario may restrict access to a single employment service provider at a time. Keep in mind that each employment service may have different employer contacts and relationships and access to different employment opportunities, so it could be worth making contact with a second employment service to maximize the newcomer’s chances of successfully finding employment.
Of note, some settlement agencies offer free or low-fee pre-employment services, such as resumé preparation, credentials evaluation/translation, interview preparation, orientation or workshops on Canadian workplace culture. These can also be valuable services for newcomers to access during their employment search, before or when working with an employment service. The Arab Community Centre of Toronto (ACCT) offers pre-employment services in Arabic, in Etobicoke and Scarborough.