Canadian Employment Skills

An employment readiness program to assist new Canadians in developing an awareness of Canadian work culture and establish Canadian work experience as a step towards achieving meaningful employment. The Canadian Employment Skills (CES) Program works with immigrants who have professional backgrounds, experiences and intermediate to strong language skills experiencing challenges starting their careers in Canada.  Our six- month, full-time program includes a classroom component followed by a work experience component.  Clients are assisted with job search if required.

Next Info session

Thursday, April 20, 2017
1:30 – 3:00 pm
YW Calgary
320-5 Avenue SE – 2nd Floor

How to register:

Click here for more information.

Now, my family and I are happy. I am happy because I feel like I belong in Canada, that I am contributing and using my skills. Now I am proud to call Canada my home.

Samanthi’s Story

Samanthi came to Canada from Sri Lanka in 2008 where she had been employed as a Civil Engineer for 25 years. After settling in Calgary with her husband and three children, she set about to find work in her field: sending out hundreds of resumes; having her qualifications valuated; taking workshops in resume writing, interview skills and job search; taking English classes; and updating her skills with courses at SAIT.

Unfortunately, none of these strategies worked and Samanthi was unable to find work in her field. Eventually, she found a survival job with a printing company. But, the company closed down a year later and she was again without work. To make ends meet, she found part-time work at McDonald’s and the SAIT cafeteria. All the while, she continued taking night courses at SAIT.

Her husband was also struggling, working two jobs to support the family. In March 2010, he was hospitalized and had two by-pass surgeries creating more emotional and financial stress for the family. Samanthi remained undaunted and continued her job search and education.

One day, she was speaking to a friend who told her about the Canadian Employment Skills program at the YWCA Calgary. This was a life-changing conversation. When asked about the program, Samanthi said, I changed a lot. The CES program restored my confidence; it helped me understand how I needed to adapt my ways of thinking and how important communication and building relationships were in the Canadian workplace.

When she went for her work experience interview, Samanthi felt confident because the program had prepared her. After her 12-week work experience, she was offered a position at Husky Energy.

The key to Samanthi’s success was the CES program. She feels grateful to the Alberta and Canadian governments for providing programs to help immigrants succeed. Her final comments were, “Now, my family and I are happy. I am happy because I feel like I belong in Canada, that I am contributing and using my skills. Now I am proud to call Canada my home”.