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Helping immigrants recertify to continue their careers in Canada

Vancouver Island organization supports new Canadians with education, resources, advice
Basil Onyia used the Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program at the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society (CVIMS) to improve his resume after moving to Vancouver Island from Missouri, USA.

Many immigrants move to Canada with skills, experience and education in high-demand professions, but without Canadian certification they struggle to find stable employment. The Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society (CVIMS) offers one-on-one, customized support to help newcomers navigate the Canadian job market and get hired!

Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants

If you or someone you know is a newcomer with professional training, the free Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program can help you return to your field. Don’t have training? The program also helps immigrants explore alternative careers, and find employment in non-regulated industries.

  • What: One-on-one support to get certified in your profession or explore an alternate occupation, career training, language improvement, financial training and coaching on Canadian workplace culture.
  • Where: The CVIMS office is in Nanaimo, but they deliver the Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program to residents of Campbell River, Courtenay, Comox Valley, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Gabriola Island, Parksville and Port Alberni. During the pandemic, many of the services are offered over the phone or through video conferencing.
  • Who: Permanent Resident within the past five years with Intermediate language proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark Five and higher). You must have a minimum of three years experience in your profession (one year for youth aged 19-30), and currently be unemployed (not collecting EI) or working in a ‘survival job’ not related to your home country profession.

You’ll connect with an Immigrant Employment Specialist for help navigating the complex credentialing process with Canadian regulatory bodies, and can also assess your skills, education and qualifications to find the right career path. At CVIMS you can connect with a community of helpful people and groups to help you build confidence and lasting relationships in your new home.

Canadian certification leads to stronger careers

Basil Onyia used the program to improve his resume after moving to Vancouver Island from Missouri, USA.

“Like many newcomers to Canada, I faced the obstacle of local experience and the credential needed to be seen in a brighter spotlight,” he says.

Onyia had plenty of relevant work experience, but when he moved to Canada he couldn’t even get a job interview. He noticed that most job descriptions mentioned a specific credential, so he visited the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society (CVIMS) for help earning extra certifications.

“CVIMS walked me through the resources. From day one, they believed in me, and that gave me an extra level of confidence.”

After earning top marks in his Canadian exams, Onyia soon had multiple job interviews, and these days he works in Victoria as a senior HR Specialist for a global company.

Funding for the program is provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Government of BC. There is NO COST for participants!

Learn more about this program and other immigrant services at or call 250-753-6911. Staff are ready to welcome you in many languages, and can help you get settled, learn English or find a job on Central Vancouver Island.