Construction and building maintenance

An overview of job opportunities in the construction trades in the GTA, with discussion of occupations in this sector; types of employers; expected compensation; English speaking requirement; licensing and training requirements; apprenticeships and other training programs available; and stories in the media.

Landscaping and horticulture

An overview of job opportunities in landscaping and horticulture in the GTA, with discussion of different occupations in this sector; types of employers; expected compensation; English speaking and licensing requirements; training programs available; questions to help determine if this seems like good work for a particular individual; comments about seasonality, the impact of inclement weather, hiring periods during the year; job boards commonly used, a recommendation to learn work-specific terminology; and questions to ask at a job interview.

English vs. work in the first year

Rates of advancement to be expected from English language courses; the value of achieving higher CLB levels; countering a desire to drop formal English instruction; use of video to monitor progress; opportunities to practice English with a newcomer at home and to improve English on the job.

Canadian Language Benchmarks

The Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) provides a common assessment method for individuals who are learning English as a second language. This post discusses their purpose and the means of assessment. It explains the classification of 12 benchmarks into three stages and provides a link to “Can Do statements”, in terms of listening, speaking, reading, and writing abilities.

Training programs in various occupations

An overview of the different types of training programs available to refugee newcomers in the GTA, some of which are specifically tailored for their circumstances and others of which are targeted to all newcomers, or to all Canadians. The include bridge training programs for internationally-trained professionals, apprenticeships for skilled trades, shorter training programs, and enhanced Language Training (ELT) with skills training.

Where to begin

When and what to talk about, including: pre-arrival, within a sponsorship group; and with the newcomer soon after arrival; when formulating a plan; when preparation for a job search begins; and after a first hire.