An important ingredient to your success in the Canadian workplace is continuous learning. Canada is a “knowledge society” that values education. To be effective in your workplace and in your community, you need to develop your skills constantly and stay up-to-date with changing technologies. Generally, you should be open to learning new things. Even activities like learning French or ice skating, show your willingness to know about Canadian culture.
The good news is that there are many professional and personal development programs for newcomers. Many are offered for free. Even workplaces offer trainings and encourage employees to participate. Here are some of the many learning opportunities you can explore:
- If you don’t know your Canadian Language Benchmark, you can go to WELARC (Winnipeg), Westman Immigrant Centre (Brandon) or SEELS (Steinbach). These agencies will also refer you to the appropriate language centres for the courses that you need.
- No time nor means of transportation? See English Online’s flexible and self-directed English lessons.
- No babysitter? The YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg’s English as a Second Language Course is for women who need child-minding to attend class. You can also try Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network which provides language training and social networking for newcomer parents.
- Red River College has an English for Specific Purposes course for those who want to pursue training opportunities or work in specific occupations.
- You can learn English used in the workplace at the Enhanced English Skills for Employment Program. Access the Directory of Adult Literacy Programs and Adult Learning Centres in Manitoba for various language and skills trainings nearest you.
- The University of St. Boniface has various levels of French language programs for Manitoban immigrants that are for free.
- Employment Manitoba has programs that provide assistance for skills training for better employment opportunities. You can check out whether Skills Development Assistance, the Professional Immigration Pilot Project, Trade Up to your Future or Apprenticeship Assistance is appropriate for you.
- If you want to go into the skilled trades, learn about Apprenticeship Manitoba where you can have the opportunity to learn while you earn.
- If you want to pursue post-secondary or graduate studies, go to the Manitoba Advanced Education and Literacy page. This page also has lists of colleges that offer post-secondary education, Private Vocational Institutions, and a link to eCampus Manitoba.
- The University of Manitoba has an ACCESS program for people who wish to have a degree or diploma but are restrained by social, economic or cultural factors.
Occupation/Skills Training/Cultural Programs
- Success Skills Centre offers practicums, bridging programs, and skills training aside from providing employment services (assistance for job search, resume preparation, etc.).
- Workplace Education Manitoba’s WEST Centres and Essential Skills Manitoba, Inc. offer essential skills assessments, help in creating your personal essential skills learning plan, and learning opportunities for career/educational development.
- Manitoba Start has various occupation-specific workshops and skills trainings, such as computer refreshers, Toastmasters Club (public speaking) or First Aid/CPR training.
- Aside from English courses, Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network also offers lectures on parenting and a free Skating Clinic for adults.
- You can attend workshops on arts and crafts, sports, physical fitness and lectures on a variety of topics at your community centre. If you are in Winnipeg, go to the General Council of Winnipeg Community Centres site to find the community centre in your area and access the calendar of activities. You can also check out the Leisure Guide.
- Manitoba Public Libraries have many programs for adults and kids. Aside from book clubs, they hold events such as lectures, film showings and workshops from bookmaking to paper crafts. Use the Manitoba Public Library directory or go to the library nearest you to inquire. You can also check out events at the Millennium Library downtown or subscribe to their News and Events by email to know the latest happenings.
Want to get ahead in the Canadian Workplace?
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