Andrea Westfall, a case manager for the Employment Program of BC, offers assistance to citizens and new Canadians looking to get into the work force. (Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff)

Program offers heads up on getting a job

Special assistance available for immigrants and newcomers

Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff

The Employment Program of B.C. assists people dealing with language barriers and other roadblocks seeking the path to employment. Through a contract with Work Link and a partnership with the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Society Centre, the Employment Program of B.C. aims to to assist citizens and newcomers to Canada in finding jobs that best suit their skill set.

The program provides free services for people looking for work that helps prepare them for the job market, said Andrea Westfall, a case manager for the program.

“There is a skills assessment process where we identify an individual’s long-term goals, background and expectations,” Westfall explained. “It’s like a one on one mentorship program.”

The program teaches those involved how to build a resume, prepare for an interview, and provides leads for employment, arranges job contacts and how to network with employers, all important parts of the process of finding the right job, Westfall noted.

“What sets us apart is that we can meet people wherever they’re comfortable,” she said. Case managers are assigned to specific areas within the Capital Region, with Westfall and case manager Amarjit Bhalla offering assistance to people in Langford, Colwood, Sooke and Sidney.

“We specialize in working with immigrants by familiarizing them with how the job search process works in Canada,” Bhalla said. She used as an example a talented seamstress who couldn’t speak a word of English that they were able to connect with an employer who recognized the expertise she could provide.

“Language wasn’t a problem because of her skills,” Bhalla said. “We were able to provide an interpreter for three days until she was comfortable. She’s been employed since December and the employer is very, very happy.”

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Victoria council narrowly approves transitional housing for former Tally Ho

Neighbours angry about decision to allow temporary three-year permit

Inner Harbour pathway in need of repairs: Harbour Authority

Victoria council approves initial design plans for walkway changes

RCMP open investigation to find missing Sooke macaw

$5,000 reward still being offered for safe return of Rufus

Check out what’s happening in Greater Victoria this weekend

From swimming championships to Oak Bay Light Up, there’s plenty to keep you busy this weekend

VicPD chief rescues lost $10 bill in downtown Victoria

The note was promptly returned to its owner unharmed

Victoria Royals giving a boost to fund inspired by Tragically Hip singer

Downie Wenjack Fund recipient of funds raised starting at tonight’s WHL game vs. Seattle

Esquimalt mayor frustrated at latest E&N railbed development

Barb Desjardins says it makes no sense to start over looking at commuter options for corridor

Nanaimo judge won’t let arsonist have a cigarette lighter

Martin Arthur Taylor previously pleaded guilty to February 2016 arson incident in Nanaimo

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Most Read