Newcomer Guide 2: Your first two months in MB

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Now that you are more or less settled, let’s work on other tasks. Feel free to skip categories in this list that may not apply to you, such as starting your licensure if your job is not regulated or parenting tasks if you’re single. Let’s get started!

Search for jobs

If you’ve registered at a newcomer serving organization, chances are you’ll be referred to an agency that provides career or employment counselling. Don’t pass up on this free service because you will learn so much more even if you’re a seasoned professional. You’ll get a better understanding of the Canadian job market, learn strategies that can expand your career opportunities, and even get connected to an employer. In the course of attending employment seminars or having a career coach, you will:

  1. Know how to tailor your Canadian-style resume and draft a cover letter
  2. Learn about job search techniques and the “hidden job market”
  3. Learn about “Canadian experience” and soft skills
  4. Know Canadian workplace culture and prepare for it
  5. Get access to further training for career development

Navigating the Canadian job market can be very different from what you’re used to in your home country. Start by learning essential information and skills that can increase your chances of getting hired and start a fruitful career in Canada.

Useful links: Job hunting during the pandemic? Here’s how to get ahead; 5 ways newcomers can start building a professional network; How to attend a virtual networking seminar: Tips to make the most out of it; Hiring during the pandemic: 5 tips for a successful online interview

Start your certification/licensure

You must undergo qualifications recognition if your job is regulated in Manitoba. There are around 33 regulated professions and nine trades in the province that require compulsory certification. You can see them here: Regulated professions and trades.

Register with your profession’s regulatory body if your job or trade is licensed. You may need to have your education assessed, go back to school, or earn job experience. There is no single process for registration; it depends entirely on the regulatory body. This is why it’s important to consult your regulatory association as early as possible.

Earning your licence will entail effort and cost. Some newcomers take on alternative jobs to fund the process. You may also avail of funding programs available in the province like the Recognition Counts program.

Useful links: Registration, certification and licensing? What do these mean? Planning on going back to school? Here are resources to back you up

Improve your language skills

Speaking, writing, reading and understanding English well are important for work and in your everyday life. Newcomers can choose from many formal and informal language courses delivered for free by newcomer serving organizations in the province.

Formal language classes are structured and follow a schedule. Students get assessed at the end of a term and earn a certification or proof of their language benchmark. Informal language training provides practical practice for your language skills. These include activities like conversation circles, drop-in workshops or discussion groups. Both language training options use real life settlement themes and meaningful tasks to help you apply your skills in practical situations. They are also flexible and can be delivered in-person, online or a combination of both.

Joining a language training program usually requires an assessment of your language level. This helps language instructors provide the right training and support suited to your needs. Assessment and referral are free from the Winnipeg English Language Assessment and Referral Centre (WELARC) or at Regional Language Assessment Centres.

Useful links: Types of language training programs for newcomers in Canada; English Online’s learning options

Care for your family

Many families move to Manitoba to ensure a better future for their children. You will discover that the province is family-oriented and has many programs and services that help families thrive and grow.

All children from seven to 18 years old must go to school (or have an education). However, kids usually start attending kindergarten at five years old. Public schooling is free for elementary and secondary (high school) levels. Parents can also choose to enroll their child in a private school or homeschool them. These options are not funded by the government.

You must register your child at your local school district. You can choose from the following programs: English, French Immersion, Français, and the Senior Years Technology Education Program. The school year starts in September and ends in June.

After high school, students can pursue further studies by entering either a college or university. Universities focus on academic and professional programs, while colleges offer career training and the trades. Depending on the program they wish to take, students can choose to apply to a number of high quality universities and colleges in the province. The cost will depend on their program and the length of time they finish the program. Those who need financial help can look into student loans (Manitoba Student Aid) or grants, scholarships or bursaries. Many post-secondary students take part-time jobs for additional funds as well as training and job experience.

Useful links: 5 steps to finding child care services; Elementary and secondary education in MB; Should my child be in the French Immersion Program? Parenting in Canada; Supports for newcomer moms and expectant moms; Post-secondary education: What’s the difference between college and university? Can I afford post-secondary education? Financial help for Manitoban students

Know your government benefits

Individuals and families receive various benefits and supports from the government depending on their current situation. Newcomers can apply for federal and provincial benefits like the Canada Child Benefit or are enrolled automatically when they file their income tax returns.

Useful links: Benefits and credits to newcomers to Canada; Government benefits you should know; Filing your tax return in 5 steps

Your rights and responsibilities

As a Permanent Resident, you have been given the right to live permanently in Canada. You can enjoy social benefits and protection under the law just like Canadian citizens. You are also guaranteed fundamental human rights and freedoms which allow you to prosper, live freely, and contribute to the community.

With these rights also come responsibilities. PRs must observe residency obligations, pay taxes, and observe the law under provincial, municipal and federal levels.

Useful links: Do you know your rights as a PR? What are employment standards? Newcomer rights and freedoms

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Community Resources

Download a summary of the checklist here: Newcomer checklist 2

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