MARPAC opens doors to immigrants

Ben Green, Staff writer
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Canada is renowned for its diversity. 

Each year, thousands of immigrants arrive on Canadian soil via land, sea, and air in search of a new start and a better life. 

Starting this month, Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) is providing valuable Canadian work experience as a stepping-stone in the right direction.

MARPAC is participating in the Federal Internship for Newcomers program. The program, which Citizenship Immigration Canada (CIC) ran last year internally, takes qualified, pre-screened newcomers and matches them with federal managers, who will benefit from having a skilled employee for a three-month casual employment. The new immigrant gains federal work experience, interviewing skills and networking possibilities.

"It's a strategy that allows us access to newcomer communities and offers them something they need. It provides us with people in those communities to build awareness of federal employment," says David Lau, acting MARPAC diversity and workforce renewal desk officer. This is the FIN program's first year and is limited to administrative and computer support, casual positions. 

When CIC piloted the program last year, they partnered with local immigrant support agencies to find people for the positions. MARPAC has teamed up with the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre. Counsellors refer clients to CIC, who in turn screen them for proper qualifications. If they pass screening they are offered an interview for one of the job openings.

"This initiative is win-win. It gives MARPAC the opportunity to develop closer relationships with local newcomer communities and encourages career development at DND. The Internship strategy directly addresses the rapidly changing regional demographics and will help reduce barriers to our future job competitions giving MARPAC a wider range of qualified applicants for future job competitions. The benefit for the Interns is that get a fantastic resume-boosting opportunity to apply their skills in the federal workplace while building their future here in Canada,"


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