Overview of Welcome PG
Welcome PG is a strategic collaboration of community stakeholders, businesses, non-profit organizations and service providers based on a mutual passion and belief in removing barriers to social inclusion for new immigrants. This collaboration was organized to enhance Prince George’s social and economic prosperity by strengthening its capacity to attract, recruit and retain internationally trained new immigrants who have chosen Canada, specifically Prince George, as their home.
Despite recent economic uncertainties, the labour market in BC continues to face demographic, and economic, challenges due to an aging workforce and a competitive job market which means there is an increasing need for internationally trained individuals to fulfill market and social demands.
On the other hand, the challenges faced by the internationally trained individuals immigrating to Canada are often times overwhelming. Despite impressive credentials, new immigrants face higher rates of unemployment as well as under-employment.
Welcome PG provides a forum where employers, service providers and other stakeholder groups engage and share innovative tools and resources to promote cultural competence and diversity in their workplaces and tap into new Canadians’ talent. It is our belief that an effective strategy to address the economic downturn and the projected skill shortages is to ease the integration of New Canadians into our community.
When employees come from diverse backgrounds, they bring individual talents and experiences with them. This invariably contributes to an organization’s overall growth.
Diversities in a working environment add a unique richness to the workplace. There is a special kind of challenge – every individual within the organization feels like putting in extra effort to overcome these individual differences. Such united opinions, in fact, work for the betterment of the company or the institution.
Embracing employees with different skills and cultural viewpoints helps in understanding the needs and requirements of the customers, on a global scale.
Diversity in workplace leads to a wide variety of viewpoints and business ideas. This helps an organization formulate the best business strategy, with its large pool of different ideas and solutions.
Employers Resources – Why Hire a New Immigrant?
New immigrants are often highly motivated, dedicated hard-working employees who can:
- New business opportunities. Skilled new immigrants can help Canadian companies do international business and will bring new customers to your local business through association.
- International expertise. Skilled new immigrants can provide companies with a competitive edge by using their cultural knowledge and international experience to serve diverse local and international markets.
- Communication. Skilled new immigrants have the ability to communicate in more than one language, thus enhancing their business edge within changing local markets and growing international markets.
- Adaptability. Skilled new immigrants can possess skills and strengths such as flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, with perseverance, determination and a strong work ethic.
- Help meet your labour needs. Skilled Canadian-born workers are getting harder to find and, over the coming years, immigrants will play an increasingly significant role in Canada’s labour force.
- Increase your competitiveness. Many skilled new immigrants have the skills and talents to help your organization compete in the global marketplace.
- Help develop new markets. Skilled New Canadians can speak languages and have knowledge of cultures that can help you develop new local and global markets.
- Make your organization more effective. Skilled new immigrants can bring fresh perspectives into your organization, stimulate new thinking and introduce more effective ways of doing business.
- Connect you with other valuable workers and organizations. Skilled new immigrants may be able to link you to other prospective employees and connect your business to useful national or international organizations.
- New Clients. New immigrants typically have access to a community of people within a city which may not typically come to do business with your organization. However, once this community sees that you are welcoming to their culture, and they see their friend working there, the entire community may be coming to you to do business.
Welcome PG Resources
Employer’s Tool Kit and New Immigrant Manual specific to Prince George
Welcome PG is excited to offer two new resources, “Hiring Skilled New Immigrants:Tools for Employers” and “Welcome to PG – An Introduction to Work and Life for New Immigrants” These resources were recently developed to help integrate new immigrants successfully integrate into our community by building mutual understanding and in turn help Prince George continue to grow economically and socially. Both of these resources are an introduction to recruiting and retaining new immigrants in the workplace and to introduce new immigrants to Prince George. Welcome PG encourages both new immigrants and employers to spend more time looking at similar resources to help ensure that two-way integration is achieved.
The employers’ resource is a tool kit with information about developing a diverse workforce by recruiting and retaining skilled new immigrants. The kit also includes topics on differences and solutions around culture, visa types, and tips for successfully integrating new immigrants into the workplace. The new immigrant manual, on working and living in Prince George, is an important companion to the employer’s toolkit because retention of any employee depends on how well the family settles into the community. The manual includes local information on the city’s services, education, ethnic societies and places of worship as well as an introduction to Canadian workplace culture.
We have paired the employer resource with DiverCity’s “KNOW: Orientation, Retention and Promotion A Guide for Building Welcoming and Inclusive Workplaces for New Immigrant Workers.” This resource was created by a WICWP project at DiverCity in Surrey which includes specific information on how to successfully retain and integrate a new immigrant hire into the workplace. A printable version of this document is available below, and also on their website. (this document is shared with permission from DiverseCity)
Immigration and Visa’s for Employers
We know how complicated it can be when hiring a foreign workers which is why we compiled a draft document for employers on visa and immigration information. Welcome PG strongly recommends referring to the Citizenship and Immigration website for up to date information on all of the visas that an employer can pursue to hire a foreign worker. This draft document prepared by Welcome PG briefly explains different immigration routes and processes of application with eligibility requirements by both the employer and the potential employee. This draft document is an introduction to these complicated, and very individual, processes and should not be considered the only source. This draft document on visa and immigration information can be found here.
Hire a New Canadian Road Map
Create a Diverse Workforce
Addressing Barriers for New Canadians
The Recruitment Process
Defining the job to be done
Determining the Importance of Language Skills
Dealing with cultural differences
Steps to Prepare for Your Move to Prince George
- Take advantage of your waiting period by doing things that will make it easier for you to get established once you arrive in Prince George, BC. This website (Centre for Canadian Language)has access to many resources that can help you prepare.
- Familiarize yourself with values, laws, your responsibilities and the rights you have as a new landed skilled new Canadian in the City of Prince George.
- Take English classes to improve your language. Some resources are noted here.
- Find out where you can stay upon arrival.
- If you’re arriving in winter make sure you have warm clothing. It can reach -30°C in January and February.
- Seek free services and help from settlements agencies such as the Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society in Prince George. They exist to help you out and your family members!
- Plan your job search.
- If your intended occupation is a regulated trade or profession contact the regulatory body to find out what you will have to do to get licensed or certified in the Province of British Columbia by looking here.
- Go online to research or make connections with professional, social, recreational, cultural groups.
- Gather documents – letters of reference from employers, professional certificates, school records; if needed, have them translated into English.
- This Working Tool in Canada allows you to search by occupation and location to see job openings in that area, the average wage, and the requirements for working in that area.
- The first three months in Canada you cannot get health insurance, so insure yourself in your own country before coming. NOTE: If you are coming here on a work permit your employer have to work out the health insurance for you, talk to your employer about this.
Get to know the programs and services available in Prince George for newcomers; make a “settlement strategy.”