by Stacy Dunn
The UPEI English Language Centre offers a professional communication and job readiness skills course for newcomers.
This free course is open to permanent residents and refugees with an English language benchmark of Level 6 or above who want help transitioning into meaningful employment. They receive advanced oral communication language instruction, job-readiness training, and job shadow experience.
“It’s 10 weeks of in-person classes as well as online instruction and resources,” says Rick Schneider, Program Officer, UPEI English Language Centre. “In week 11, the final week, students do networking and job shadowing. We offer three courses throughout the year – in January, April, and September.” The program accepts up to 18 students for each cohort.
There are two parts to the course. After an introduction to Canadian workplace culture, the focus is on communication skills such as the following:
- improving clarity of speech
- enhancing vocabulary and grammatical forms at the advanced level
- building confidence in public speaking skills
Rick says students are busy with networking opportunities. “We have workplace visits, informational interviews, and panel discussions.”
Students may do job shadowing, but it is not like a traditional job placement. The purpose of the job shadow experience is to gain further insight and knowledge of various organizations within the local community. UPEI does not guarantee job opportunities or employment contracts after the experience is finished.
Examples of places past students have visited include a car dealership, the business incubator Startup Zone, and tourism operators at Victoria-by-the-Sea.
Individual follow-up appointments for career and skill-related advice can be scheduled upon completion of the program.
This program is funded by Immigrant, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).