Welcome PG

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.


man_icon Your Business can benefit from Workplace Diversity

Diversity Advantage

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.


newcanadianiconThe Benefits of Looking to New Canadians as Potential Employees

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.

                                               Welcome to PG - An Introduction to Work and Life for New Immigrants cover                            Hiring Skilled New Immgrants Cover

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

• Determining job standards. • Recruiting, orienting and training staff. • Managing and evaluating staff. • Complying with the laws of Canada. • Provide detailed job information and reach out to a wider range of potential recruits. • Become familiar with – and use – available tools and services that can help you assess international educational qualifications and abroad work experience. (Please refer to BCHRMA toolkit “Hiring and Retaining Skilled Immigrants”) • Participate in bridge-to-work and mentoring programs that include Skilled New Canadians. • Get involved in language and job or skills training. • Implement diversity and integration programs.

Addressing Barriers for New Canadians

• Make sure everyone involved in hiring is aware of the value of international skills and credentials. • Provide diversity and cross-cultural training to all employees, including those involved in hiring. • Focus on the skills and job experience of the candidates rather than on where they came from or where they gained their education and experience. • Outline the selection and interview process in your job postings. • When advertising jobs, let workers know that you value international credentials and competencies. • Let potential candidates know that your workplace is inclusive and that it welcomes diversity. • Post health, safety and employment standards in multiple languages to make employees feel welcome.

The Recruitment Process

Improve your recruitment process by keeping three important points in mind: • Focus on what it takes to do the job. This is what matters most. • Don’t underestimate international credentials and experience because they are unfamiliar. • Be aware of barriers related to international credentials, Canadian work experience and language skills. Make more effective assessments. If you don’t know how international qualifications compare to Canadian credentials, base your assessment on other criteria. Consider asking candidates to: • Describe their years of experience in a field or job, or in performing specific tasks; • Explain their skills or demonstrate them in practical tests; and • Demonstrate their knowledge through written examinations.

Defining the job to be done

• Defining the essential skills required for the job. • Defining the duties, responsibilities and other requirements of the job. The National Occupational Classification (NOC) can help you define the main duties or responsibilities, employment requirements and titles for a wide range of occupations. • Using information available in your industry. • For regulated occupations, stating clearly the licensing or certification required by law. • For non-regulated occupations, consider voluntary certification that may apply. • Asking for relevant work experience instead of Canadian work experience.

Determining the Importance of Language Skills

• What language skills are really needed for the job? Some jobs may not require a high level of language proficiency, while others may need specific job-related language abilities. • Weakness in language skills can be overcome through language training or on-the-job experience. • Don’t be fooled by accents.

Dealing with cultural differences

• Cultural differences can be bridged. Exposure to different cultures can be enriching. • An inclusive workplace benefits everyone.

notepad_iconNew Canadians, Prepare for Success in Prince George!

Steps to Prepare for Your Move to Prince George

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Take English classes to improve your language. Some resources are noted here.
  4. Find out where you can stay upon arrival.
  5. If you’re arriving in winter make sure you have warm clothing. It can reach -30°C in January and February.
  6. 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!
  7. Plan your job search.
  8. 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.
  9. Go online to research or make connections with professional, social, recreational, cultural groups.
  10. Gather documents – letters of reference from employers, professional certificates, school records; if needed, have them translated into English.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.”