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WorkSaskatchewan opens new doors for immigrants

Saskatchewan opens new doors for immigrants

On March 1, the Government of Saskatchewan announced funding of $638,000 to the Bridging to Employment program.
Bridging to Employment is a 20-week program available to people who are 16 years of age or older. This program aims to help those who are unemployed or underemployed. The program welcomes people from all cultural backgrounds, and it helps them overcome the barriers to expand their educational and employment goals.
The first ten weeks of the 20-weeks program involve classroom training, focus on communication skills, job readiness, and digital literacy skills. After completing the training, the next 10-week period is paid work experience. Participants are connected with a Saskatchewan employer where they implement the learned skills and get an on-ground expertise of the job role.
The Saskatchewan government recently decided to fund the program to benefit the newcomers to the province. The huge amount of funding would enable the internationally educated newcomers coming to Saskatchewan through the Bridging to Employment program to have better training and work placement opportunities. The government aims to help these newcomers join the labour market and settle in their respective communities across the province.
Bridging to Employment offers 3 groups every year. For each group, around 10-15 participants are selected. Students who do not enter into the next available session are placed on a waitlist. If any seats become available in the first two weeks from the start date of a new program, students from the waitlist are given priority to join the program. Graduating groups take part in a traditional Bah’lat- Honouring Potlatch.
The Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said that Saskatchewan is a place famous for great opportunities which attract skilled workers from all over the world. He states that the funding provides important training and work experience access to internationally trained newcomers. This would eventually help them settle into the communities and successfully join the province’s labour market.

Saskatchewan is known as a place of great opportunity and continues to attract skilled newcomers from around the world,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “This funding will provide internationally trained newcomers access to important training and work experience opportunities that will support them in joining the labour market and settling into communities across our province.

The Canada-Saskatchewan Labour Market Transfer Agreements provide the $638,000 funding to the program. The entire funding amount will successfully support 60 participants to find a job of their suitability and settle well in the province.
Three associations offer the Bridging to Employment program in Saskatchewan – The Regina Immigrant Women Centre, Saskatchewan Intercultural Association in Saskatoon, and the Prince Albert Multicultural Council. These groups collectively aim to support international immigrants and refugees from all across the globe to integrate and settle in the province’s communities.
The Regina Immigrant Women Centre or RIWC is specifically for female immigrants and refugees. It provides opportunities, programs and services to such women and their families to facilitate and support their smooth integration into the local communities.
The Saskatchewan Intercultural Association in Saskatoon aims to promote intercultural understanding and preserving of cultural identity to fully include newcomers in the province and Canadian society.
The Prince Albert Multicultural Council or PAMC initially started as a social and dance group to promote dances of various cultures in Prince Albert. However, it has developed over time to promote, develop and coordinate multicultural activities in Prince Albert and the area. The council now includes settlement services, language classes, employment skills training, diversity and multicultural awareness and hosts many major community events and festivals.

Participants are required to contact SaskJobs Career Services to check their eligibility for the program and obtain a referral code to join the Bridging to Employment program.

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