Even if you have taken pre-departure seminars like the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP) or the Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA), you will find a lot of value in attending orientation seminars once you arrive in Manitoba. Aside from providing a general overview of Canadian life and culture, these programs also connect you with the right supports to start living and working in the specific area in Manitoba you are in. You also benefit from meeting other newcomers like you, and start forging friendships and connections.
Your first stop after you arrive should be Manitoba Start. It is located in Winnipeg at 271 Portage Avenue. Once you register with the organization, you will be referred to the programs you need for employment, language training, education, and other settlement services. You have to present your:
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Permanent resident card
- Record of landing and passport
After an initial assessment, your needs will be identified. They will suggest training programs and courses of action that you can take to begin working to meet your immediate needs. One of these is the Entry Program. It provides a series of orientation classes about employment, health, laws and getting around Manitoba. Watch the video below to know more about the classes at the Entry Program:
Manitoba Start will also register you for an employment readiness workshop depending on your settlement plan and career goals. They could also match you with a career coach to guide you in your initial job application. They have a job matching service wherein newcomers learn about job leads and receive assistance in resume development and interview preparation. It also hosts special training programs and events, such as regular employer cafes, job fairs, hiring events, and information sessions with educational institutions and regulatory bodies.
You may be referred to the Winnipeg English Language Assessment and Referral Centre (WELARC) for English assessment. This is important as WELARC can recommend the appropriate language training program available in Manitoba that fits your needs and schedule.
Those who live outside of Winnipeg will have access to orientation programs offered by settlement centres such as:
Arborg (Interlake Immigration Settlement Services)
Westman Immigrant Services (Brandon, Boissevain, Kola and Rossburn)
Cartwright, Killarney, Boissevain Settlement Services (Cartwright, Killarney, Boissevain)
Parkland Settlement Services (Grandview, Roblin, Rossburn, Dauphin)
Neepawa and Area Immigrant Settlement Services (Neepawa,Gladstone, Minnedosa)
Portage Learning and Literacy Centre (Portage La Prairie)
Eastman Immigrant Services (Steinbach)
Swan Valley Settlement Services (South Central)
Thompson Newcomer Settlement Service
Virden Settlement Services (Virden, Kola, Hamiota)
Regional Connections (Winkler, Morden, Altona)
Refugees, francophones, and older adults
Newcomers belonging to these categories can still register with Manitoba Start and be referred to the appropriate settlement agencies for orientation, in addition to the other services it provides. For instance, francophones will be referred to Accueil francophone, and refugees to the Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council (MIIC) for orientation sessions. Meanwhile, older adults can avail of A&O Support Services for Older Adults’ Entry Program.
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