Skilled New Canadians help address trades shortage

Jerzy Niescierowicz, has re-established a career in the trades thanks to support from a BC training initiative aimed at helping skilled New Canadians overcome barriers to entering the trades.
This program is available for those who are unemployed or employed and low-skilled.
The Industry Training Authority’s Immigrants in Trades Training program supports skilled New Canadians who already have technical skills from their home countries but need Canadian certification. It is funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA) and is overseen by the Industry Training Authority.
According to the B.C. Trade Occupations Outlook, the province can expect to experience a skilled labour shortage of at least 160,000 by 2015. The Immigrants in Trades Training program is helping address this growing shortage through offering support to New Canadians.
Niescierowicz was an experienced Electrical Engineer in Poland.
In 2012, he moved to British Columbia with his family so that he could provide better opportunities for his children. However, Niescierowicz quickly discovered that the differences in his qualifications, as well as cultural and language barriers, would stop him from doing the type of skilled work he had done as an Electrical Engineer in Poland.
“Canada is a great place for people to grow up and study,” says Niescierowicz. “But moving here has been challenging. My certification was not recognized and we were forced to move around a lot. I was stuck in low-paying jobs, and I had to work really hard to show that I was qualified” says Niescierowicz.
“Thankfully DIVERSEcity (an Immigrants in Trades Training service provider) helped me find the information I needed and supported me so that I could successfully challenge the Red Seal exam. It felt great to pass the exam and just two days after I got my results I was able to change jobs. I’m now able to provide for my family.”
Niescierowicz, is currently working for Steveston Industrial Electric at Molson Coors Brewery, where he has proved himself to be an experienced and knowledgeable employee. “Jerzy is a very conscientious worker, for me that covers a lot of ground,” says Rick Thys, project manager at Steveston Industrial Electric.
“As an employer that’s what you look for, and it shows in his work as well.”
Niescierowicz isn’t stopping there; he hopes to continue to gain the Canadian experience he needs so that he can start the process to become an Electrical Engineer.
“I started my Electrical Engineer career very early and it’s just what I do – it’s my life. I like working with my hands and challenging my brain.”
In total, more than 1,500 skilled immigrants like Niescierowicz have completed training or introductory training courses through the Immigrants in Trades Training initiative since it first started in 2008.
Programs offered through the initiative provide skilled New Canadians with hands-on experience, financial assistance, safety training, English courses, and career counseling to help them become valuable, well-rounded employees.
 Visit the Industry Training Authority website to learn more

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