What is the importance of Essential Skills for New Immigrants?

Essential Skills are what are commonly asked for on job postings. They are transferable skills that are needed to participate as a worker and as a learner. For example, new job seekers new to Canadian need to practice their interviewing and self-presentation skills, and practice speaking to different kinds of people from different walks of life. So, oral communication skills (speaking and listening) are vital for successfully getting work, and for completing work and learning tasks.

Newcomers to Canada need to demonstrate adequate reading skills to manage the daily reading activities while at work or in a classroom. Also, experienced Internationally Trained Professionals who are new to the Canadian workplace might need some time to become used to using Canadian workplace documents and forms. They might not be used to writing notes, answering phone calls, taking messages, or taking minutes and presenting ideas at meetings in the Canadian context – how they learned to do things is sometimes quite different from the way Canadian workplaces (employers) expect. Cultural differences in the ways Canadian businesses conduct business (for example, write notes, reports and letters) may be also quite different. Computer software and processes may differ quite a bit in different industries, and terminology (for example, medical) may be quite different.

To ease the transition from survival/transitional jobs to careers, it tends to take several years to gradually learn required essential skills through hands-on practice in the workplace. It is important to prepare one’s skills for success, whether one wants to pass the knowledge test to get the Learner’s driver’s license, or learn to search the web for work, write a letter to a utility company, prepare online forms, or prepare a resume or use email.

For more information on how the Prince Rupert Resource Library for Newcomers at Hecate Strait Employment Development Society provides essential skills training and tutoring support for new immigrants, please contact Nancy Smith at 250-624-9498.

Our services for newcomers and immigrants are available free of charge in Prince Rupert thanks to funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citzenship Canada and BC Settlement and Integration Services.