Settlement services are available to help skilled immigrants and refugees settle, adapt to their new home and continue their careers in Canada. But finding the right services for you might seem complicated; there isn’t a one-stop-shop nor a one-size-fits-all solution. In working with immigrants to achieve career success, Windmill Microlending understands the value and importance of settlement support. We’ve put together a list of tips to help you look for settlement services in Canada and find your fit.
Understanding settlement services in Canada
Generally, settlement services in Canada fall into the following four core areas:
- Settlement agencies / services: Provide needs assessments, information and referrals to help immigrants and refugees connect with the right organizations.
- Employment services: Offer language training, skills development and employment-related services to help newcomers find gainful employment.
- Career counseling: Give ongoing mentorship and coaching to help immigrants and refugees continue their careers in Canada.
- Networking services: Create community connections to help immigrants and refugees integrate into Canadian society.
Each settlement service provider is a specialist in their area, which means they may not be able to meet all of your needs. Rather than look for a single-service solution, consider all the ways they can come together to help you realize your full potential.
How to find the right service providers for you
1. Know your needs
Start with identifying your needs and objectives, and look for resources to meet those needs. Whether it’s help registering for language classes, signing your kids up for school or upgrading your credentials that you’re looking for, getting clear on your goals will better guide your search.
2. Talk to your friends, family and community leaders
You might know someone who has accessed settlement services before, so call upon your network to help you understand the tools and resources available. If not, you can meet with people by profession or within a nationality by joining forums, discussion groups and associations. Across the country, there are organizations such as the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC), Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC) and the Immigrant Council of BC (IECBC) that helps internationally-trained professionals build their professional connections through mentoring and professional immigrant networks.
3. Explore provincial programs
Get to know the settlement support programs in your province. Though the federal government mandates a certain level of support for newcomers across the country, some provinces offer enhanced services. For example, some have bridging programs that are designed to “bridge” your international training and experience with access to the supports you need to get a license or certificate to work in your profession or trade and to find jobs that match your skills and experience.
A great place to start your search is with For new immigrants – Canada.ca. This is a national service that facilitates the arrival of immigrants, provides protection to refugees and offers programming to help newcomers settle in Canada.
Realize your full potential
Windmill Microlending offers more than a loan. We help our clients overcome the challenges of settlement and give them a solid foundation from which to flourish. We’ve supported countless skilled immigrants and refugees on their journey to career success, and we can help you too.