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New immigrants to Victoria have online options to combat isolation

The Inter-Cultural Association is going digital to comply with COVID-19 standards
The ICA is offering some of its services online to help immigrants. (Black Press Media file photo)

New immigrants from Victoria may already feel isolated in their new communities without self-isolation, so the Inter-Cultrual Association (ICA) is adjusting its programs to suit the COVID-19 atmosphere.

One example of this is the ICA’s Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants Program, which helps professionals realign their education and certification with Canadian standards by offering career mentorship, professional networking skills, internship opportunities, assistance obtaining additional certifications, and assessment of educational credentials. While the program is regularly in person, the ICA has switched to offer it online.

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“COVID-19 has forced us to use a virtual approach to support clients, and we are prepared to use multiple methods to ensure skilled immigrants have the tools they need to find the right employment opportunity when the business world gets back to normal,” says Tim Blake, employment services manager, ICA. “With perhaps more time on their hands we think this is an opportune moment for ICA to offer these courses online through video conferencing.”

Trina Mangmang took the program shortly after she arrived from the Phillipines. Mangmang is an elementary school teacher who later worked in the post-secondary education system in Dubai.

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“When I first came to Canada, I was told it would be difficult to continue working in my profession due to a lack of Canadian experience, and that I would need to change careers to survive,” says Mangmang. “However, with support from ICA’s Career Paths program, I was able to upgrade my education credentials to fulfill requirements by the Teachers Regulation Branch, prepare for job interviews, network with members of the teaching community, and more. I am happy to say that I now work as a teacher, teaching on-call, with a school district on Vancouver Island.”

The program is now being offered via phone call, video conferencing and more.

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About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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