The PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada (PEI ANC) held an event which brought together employers and sector representatives with people who have newly arrived on PEI and are looking for work.
Craig Mackie, Executive Director of PEI ANC, listed three things that lead to newcomers’ success on PEI.
- Language is the key to everything. As you develop language skills, you strengthen your ability to do everything else.
- Get a job or open a business. This is critical to the future of PEI and to newcomers’ development.
- Social inclusion. If newcomers feel welcome and part of the community, the chance of them staying on PEI grows exponentially.
Hosted by PEI ANC and the Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning. Funded in whole or in part through the Canada/PEI Labour Market Development Agreement.
Matching job seekers with employers on PEI.
The employers and organizations below representing sectors on PEI spoke about what they do, and how job seekers can find a place in their work setting.
Health Sector by Heidi Riley
CBI Health Centre
CBI is Canada’s largest provider of community healthcare services. There are four clinics on PEI: two in Charlottetown, one in Summerside, and one in Montague.
The company focuses on rehabilitation, and works with people who have had motor vehicle injuries, workplace injuries, falls, or are recovering from surgery. “We offer physiotherapy, occupational therapy, exercise therapy, chiropractor, and massage therapy,” says Melissa MacDonald. “These professions require certifications.
“We also hire assistants and administration staff. We are always looking to expand with the right people. We look for people who are reliable, hard working, and willing to learn. We are willing to help train assistants within our clinic to help complement the work of the registered professionals.
“When hiring administration staff, we look for a background in customer service. With that experience, it is easier to teach our computer system and the way we do things. Administrators book appointments, answer phone calls, and direct clients to the proper therapist.
“Our assistants help get clients set up for their treatments, do some housekeeping, and assist with some of the treatments. Those are all skills we can teach people.
“We have also taken on volunteers who want to get a feel for the different types of positions before they commit to going to school.”
Best way to apply
“For us, the best way is to drop off a resumé in person or check the job opportunities on our website.”
For more about CBI, visit www.cbi.ca.
Andrews of PEI
Andrews of PEI has community care facilities in Stratford and Charlottetown, two in Summerside, and one in Moncton. “In Stratford, we provide a residence for seniors who can do most things for themselves, but may need some help with getting ready for the day, going to bed at night, bathing, meals, housekeeping, or laundry,” says Jennifer Pitre.
In the nursing department of the Stratford facility, Jennifer, a Registered Nurse, oversees the care and operations in the building. There are also supervisors and caregivers who assist with the daily needs of residents.
“Our supervisors, caregivers, dietary team, and housekeeping team do not need to have special certification, because we provide care to seniors who are a community care level (as opposed to nursing care).
“It’s a bonus for us to hire someone with previous experience in healthcare to fill our positions.
“Our supervisors oversee the caregivers on site, do assessments on residents, and give medications. We prefer to hire people who have some knowledge of healthcare, and then we can train further.”
For more information about Andrews of PEI, visit www.andrewsseniorcare.com.
PEI College of Pharmacists
The PEI College of Pharmacists is a regulatory body for the practice of pharmacy on PEI, and takes in all aspects of the profession, including issuing permits to operate a retail pharmacy.
Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must be licensed and registered with the PEI College of Pharmacists in order to work on PEI.
“At a pharmacy, other people work in non-regulated positions such as pharmacy assistants, cashiers, and shelf stockers,” says Michelle Wyand. “These positions don`t require certifications. The best way to find out about positions available in those jobs is to visit each pharmacy, speak to the manager, and submit your resumé.
“Some people working in pharmacies in those positions are in the process of earning their credentials or writing their national exams.”
For more information about the PEI College of Pharmacists, visit www.pepharmacists.ca.
PEI Massage Therapy Association
To become a Registered Massage Therapist on PEI, you need to be registered with the PEI Massage Therapy Association.
“Massage Therapy is a two-year program which is offered New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and other centres across Canada,” says Christine Bell.
“It is important to research the school you choose to attend. Speak with the provincial association and find out if the school is accredited, or you may not be able to become licensed in your field after you graduate.
“Massage therapy is a great career for women. You can work full-time or part-time, arrange your hours around daycare, or work evenings and weekends. It gives you some flexibility. Most of the time, Massage Therapists are self employed, so you need to be prepared to handle the business part of the job.”
For more information about Massage Therapy, visit www.peimta.com.
Finance & Accounting Sector by Stacy Dunn
Arsenault Best Cameron Ellis
This office has provided a wide variety of accounting, auditing and tax services for over six decades. Doug Ezeard has been with the firm for 30 years.
“Our growing international clientele has resulted in growing our own international staff,” says Doug. “We currently have two CPA students from China. We are presently looking to hire an additional Mandarin-speaking accounting technician with strong bookkeeping skills.
“We have 25 to 28 partners and employees depending upon the time of year. Our busiest season is from January to June. We typically hire two streams of people: UPEI business school graduates who want to become Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs) and accounting technicians from the Holland College Accounting Technology program.
“We hire two business graduates in May or September, and they begin a 30-month program to obtain their professional accountant designation. We give two accounting technician students on-the-job training in February or March. We offer them full-time work after their placement, depending upon staffing levels at the time.”
Doug says through the years, a few accounting technicians at his office have worked towards obtaining a CPA. “This requires a variety of university courses, depending upon the student’s educational background. CPA Canada has a bridging program to help people who did not go through the designation process right out of school to prepare to work towards it.
“From time to time, our clients will look for their own in-house bookkeepers and accountants. Some of our staff have been hired by our clients, which creates openings at our firm, especially on the accounting technician side.”
For more information about Arsenault Best Cameron Ellis, visit www.acgca.ca/members/arsenault-best-cameron-ellis.
Fitzpatrick & Company
Fitzpatrick & Company is a full-service accounting firm. The assurance division handles audits, reviews and other financial statement preparation. The advisory division handles business planning, tax planning, and refinancing. The staff of 22 includes nine professional accountants who are all CPAs.
“Our hiring is typically done in the spring, after our busy season, which is January to May,” says Jamie Arsenault. “We hire two to three people a year. They are either accounting technicians doing day-to-day bookkeeping, or individuals going into the Chartered Professional Accountant program.”
CPA students work at the firm while participating in the 30-month program to get their professional accountant designation.
“Once they finish the CPA program, they can decide which path they what to take in our firm, the assurance side or business advisory side. It depends on the needs of our company and the skill set of the individual.”
For more information about Fitzpatrick & Company, visit www.fitzandco.ca.
RBC is one of the world’s leading financial institutions. On PEI, over 50 employees work in four branches and an RBC Dominion Securities office. Li Yuan Ma is one of the bank’s success stories, advancing from Client Advisor to Personal Banking Account Manager to Commercial banking in four and a half years.
“We are a diverse group of committed professionals who share common values and a desire to be the best we can be,” says Li Yuan. “We have seven Chinese employees now, and one Vietnamese employee in PEI. Our culture is deeply supportive, diverse, and rich in opportunity and reward, and high in integrity and performance.”
“RBC always brings out the best in their employees, and gives them the tools and support to grow and enrich the careers. ”
Education and experience requirements depend on the position applied for. “For Client Advisor, which is an entry-level position, it’s better to have customer service experience.
“We offer a training program when you get in the door. We look for people who would treat our clients well and who like continuous training.”
For RBC job postings, resumé and interview tips, visit www.rbc.com/careers.
Bioscience Sector by Gloria Welton
BioVectra is a custom manufacturer of pharmaceutical ingredients for pharma companies. They have been in operation on PEI for about 40 years.
“We have 260 talented people with diverse backgrounds in organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, many fields of engineering, a growing R&D department, as well as specialists in manufacturing and quality assurance,” says Trevor Morash.
They expect to grow their staff to about 300 employees by 2017. “Roughly sixty percent of our staff works in production-related jobs.
“We are expanding our sales & marketing department, production staff, and all areas that support production, such as administration, engineering, maintenance, quality assurance and control department. We continually look for chemistry students, electrical and chemical engineers, and biology students.”
How to stand out when applying
Trevor says it is important to indicate your previous work experience and training on your resumé and cover letter. “We also look for people who are interested in further training and developing within the company. We often hire for entry-level positions, and when we determine what strengths the person brings to the company, we encourage development from within.
“Indicating a willingness to stay at the job long-term stands out, because we want to hire people who are going to stay, develop and grow with us. If you can get all of that across during the application and hiring process, that will stand out.”
“There is often a specific amount of training and education that is required depending on the positions, but a willingness to learn, enthusiasm, a strong interest, and being a team player is required.”
For more information, visit www.biovectra.com.
ViTRAK Systems Inc.
ViTRAK Systems. Inc.
“We measure and analyze static sway/balance and dynamic gait analysis with underfoot pressures,” says Wendy Weeks. “Our system can be used in research, medical applications, clinical, physiotherapy, and sports medicine. We have placed our systems at three Department of Veterans Affairs sites, and at a Workers Compensation Board pilot at a local physiotherapy clinic. We are also looking to partner with UNB and a prosthetics clinic in Moncton.”
About the staff
There are presently 10 staff who build, test, and market the product. “We have a strong software staff who do programming/tech support. Two staff have a Masters in Science, and another is a GUI developer. We also have a PhD who worked on a project to determine if people could be identified by the way they walk by using gait biometrics.
“Staff also includes a Mechanical Engineer and Engineering Manager who has specific training in leadership and development in six sigma black belt training for process improvement.
“There is also the administration support staff. The President and CEO, Crystal Trevors, has a Masters in Science from the AVC and an MBA.”
“In the future, we are looking to develop and expand our sales team and the manufacturing division, which will need technicians to do repair & overhaul and assembly.
“For sales, we need staff who can connect with clients, demonstrate the products, and understand the biomedical industry and the technical specs of our equipment.”
The right fit for the company Wendy says they look for a balance of credentials and the right personality. “We need people who are willing to be flexible, do multi-tasking, be willing to adapt to new technology in relation to social media for sales and marketing purposes, and be willing to work well as a team.”
Information Technology Sector by Stella Shepard
DeltaWare Division-MAXIMUS Canada
The DeltaWare Division of MAXIMUS Canada has been in operation since 1992, and employs approximately 100 professionals with various backgrounds and specializations.
DeltaWare is a nationally recognized leader in the eHealth field, with implementations in nine jurisdictions across Canada. DeltaWare’s e-Business team provides Oracle solutions to public and private sector organizations.
“It is important to tailor your resumé to the job you are applying for. Look carefully at the job description. Make sure that your cover letter specifically shows how your experience and education meet the requirements of the job.
“Many of our job descriptions say we are looking for a certain number of years of experience with a certain technology. We need to know what projects you have used a technology on, in what capacity, how many years you have worked with the technology, and a description of the projects you have worked on.
“Don’t make the employer work too hard to match your skills with the skills they are looking for. Make it very clear.
“During the interview, it impresses us to see people who come across as confident, and who show they really know their stuff. Be able to talk in-depth about the projects you have worked on, and how your skills are specifically transferrable to the job you are applying for.
“Ask good questions about the company’s culture, and about a typical day at the office. Show you are interested, and that you have researched the company and know what it does.”
For more information about DeltaWare, visit www.maximuscanada.ca.
Invesco Enterprise Services
Invesco is a leading independent global financial management firm. The company has over 6,500 employees in 20 countries around the world.
Invesco’s Charlottetown office opened in 2007 with 24 employees. It has grown rapidly, and now has about 350 staff working in financial services and technology roles.
“We have a growing technology footprint here on PEI,” says Justin Robinson. “In addition to our well-established infrastructure teams, we are adding up to 20 new Application roles, including business analysts, project managers, support analysts, and application developers.
“On your resumé, include any and all previous experience that you think could be relevant. When in doubt, include it!
“We often look at previous experience to determine if we think it may be applicable to a new role or in a new environment like Finance IT. For example, strong skills in communication, organization, and detail orientation may be transferrable to specialized technology roles like business analysis or project management.”
For more information about Invesco, visit www.invesco.ca/PEI.
CGI is the fifth-largest IT company in the world. They deliver end-to-end IT outsourcing services that allow clients to achieve both quick wins and long-term results.
Over 700 people work in CGI’s four Maritime offices. “We look for all kinds of roles and skills,” says Mike Rogers. “When you apply to CGI, you start by creating an online profile and uploading your CV.
“Applicant should take the time to read the job advertisement that we have posted and highlight how their skills match the skill requirements in the job advertisement. It is a good idea to say when you worked with a certain technology last, so that we know how current your skills are.
“After you submit your resumé in person, it is ok to ask who it will go to, and when you can expect a reply. Then do a follow-up call in a few days with that person and try to gain some insight or feedback on your potential candidacy for the role.
“I am more interested in your experience and the value you will bring to our company than your education. Education is important, but this levels the playing field for all candidates.
“I also like to see the candidate demonstrate they are thinking about where the future technology is going and how it will impact the industry down the road.”
For more information about CGI Atlantic, visit www.cgi.com/en/canada.
The company has 60 staff working in various roles such as:
- Front-end + design
- Business Analysts
- Project Managers
“Thinking Big is always looking for Senior Developers (Programmers),” says Joeanne Thomson, who has been with the company since February 2016.
“We also look for creative Front-end Developers/Designers, as well as Project Managers and Business Analysts with technical skills and technical backgrounds.”
What to include on the resumé
“We look at technical skill sets,” says Joeanne. “On a resumé, it is really important to include the different technologies you have worked with. We look at education to see if you have the background knowledge for the role we are looking to fill.”
“Even if employers don’t post a job, they could still be on the look-out for employees with the right skill set. It is valuable to contact companies you would like to work for, tell them who you are, and provide a resumé.
“If job seekers drop in to the office with their resumé without contacting anyone first, it might not get to the right person. They should go to our website, find out who to reach out to, and email their resumé to [email protected]. Follow up on an application with a telephone call. Those actions will trigger us to look at your resumé.”
“It’s important to have an understanding of current technologies, but people who have done technical projects using different applications can transfer those skills to projects we are working on. Also, a business analyst with a background in marketing and communications (rather than IT) may be an asset to projects where we are developing technical solutions for marketing and communications clients.”
For more information about Thinking Big, visit www.thinkingbig.net.
Trades Professions by Heidi Riley
Canadian Home Builders Association - PEI
The association represents groups and businesses which are primarily involved in home construction, including carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and other skilled trades.
“We are working with PEI ANC to start a program that introduces foreign workers to the trades, says Todd MacEwan. “The program will include other partners such as Apprenticeship and Training.
“We plan to go to the businesses we deal with in the home construction sector to find opportunities.
“Newcomers who have certain construction-related skills or want to learn skills can call us and be matched with businesses looking for people with those skills.”
For more information about the Canadian Home Builders Association-PEI, visit www.chba-pei.ca.
PEI Trucking Sector Council
The PEI Trucking Sector Council is involved in improving the human resources of road transportation companies.
These companies operate buses, long-haul and short-haul trucks, repair trucks, and manage the logistics around moving freight.
High demand for truck drivers
“The biggest demand in this industry across Canada is for long-haul truckers to drive across the country and into the US,” says Brian Oulton.
“The training program for truckers takes just three months, and so it could be an ideal job for newcomers to Canada.”
Demand for mechanics is high
“PEI companies are always looking for truck and transport mechanics. Those jobs pay very well, and there are lots of opportunities.
“Becoming Red Seal certified takes about four to five years, and training is not available on PEI. Some PEI employers are willing to train people. If you have a mechanical background, many employers will support your apprenticeship as you take a block release apprenticeship training program.”
Future growth potential
“Trucking is a growth industry. The only thing stopping us from growing is people. Across Canada, there will be a need for 30,000 or more drivers in the for-hire side of trucking, and thousands more in the private fleets in the next five to seven years.”
For more information on the trucking industry on PEI, contact the PEI Trucking Sector Council at www.peitsc.ca.