Bridging programs are a vital post-arrival service for newcomers in Canada who are looking for a job in their field or one commensurate with their education and experience. These programs complement the services that SOPA offers at the pre-arrival stage and are “designed to ‘bridge’ international training, education and experience with what is required to practice in Ontario” (Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration).
The SOPA Ontario team has started a new partnership with Ryerson University’s Green Economy Bridging Program which is funded by the Government of Ontario and offered through the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. This innovative and specialized training program is designed specifically for internationally educated professionals with backgrounds in Engineering, Architecture, Science, Urban Planning, Environmental Science, Energy Management, Project Management, Geoscience, Tourism, Agriculture and other STEM related fields. The GEBP provides 12 weeks of intensive in-class training in Sustainability Management and Canadian workplace culture as well as field trips. In addition, participants receive support with their job search and with building their professional and community connections on-the-ground.
This is an important partnership for us as many of our SOPA participants can benefit from this bridging program, particularly with the growing demand for employees to be knowledgeable of Triple Bottom Line (3BL) sustainability principles and practices.
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Prepared by Caroline Purver (Cultural Communications Facilitator, SOPA Ontario)
Caroline Purver has been working as a Cultural Communications Facilitator (Ontario) for SOPA since the program started in 2015. She has been working in the non-profit sector in Ottawa for numerous years and is a graduate of the Social Service Worker program – Immigrant and Refugee stream from Seneca College in Toronto. Caroline is passionate about helping newcomers thrive in this beautiful country and is thrilled to support pre-arrival clients as they prepare to enter the Canadian workplace.