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Is Now the Right Time for Upgrading Your Skills?

Posted by: Gavin Au-Yeung Date: March 23, 2021 Category: Blog

Learning new skills and improving on your current skills is a great way to advance your career outlook. Upgrading your skills is beneficial for anyone who is looking for new career opportunities or promotions. This is because upgrading your skills makes you more attractive to potential employers and more valuable to your current workplace.

Newcomers in Canada who are having difficulties returning to their desired career path may also want to consider upgrading their skills. There are some local employers and Regulatory Bodies that do not recognize overseas credentials. As a result, newcomers may want to build on their pre-existing skills to compete in the Canadian job market.

Recommended Blog: 6 Skills to Advance Your Career

Do You Need Skill Upgrading?

Before you begin, consider if skill upgrading is even needed for your current situation. Individuals who are new to Canada may want to test the waters by applying to several desired jobs. This process will give you a good idea of how valued your current skills and credentials are in the Canadian workforce. Of course, the best-case scenario is if you are able to secure your desired occupation.

If you are unsuccessful at landing your desired job, you may want to consider upgrading your skills to become more marketable in the Canadian workforce. Carefully examine the job descriptions for your desired career. Do you possess the listed skills and qualifications on these postings? If there is a gap between your current abilities and the desired skills on the job description, you may want to consider upgrading your skills in order to become more competitive in the Canadian labour market. On the other hand, if you have the required skills, you may want to consider learning more about Canadian workplace culture in order to become a better fit for a Canadian organization. Connect with other newcomers who have been in your situation and ask for their advice.

Related blog: Mentorship to Advance Your Career

Bridging Programs for Newcomers

Bridging programs allow newcomers to get classroom training and workplace experience quickly. They are beneficial because newcomers do not need to re-learn skills and material they already know. For example, consider a nurse who has international experience and now wants to practice in Alberta. A bridging program would allow the nurse to make a smooth transition so that they can use their international experience in the Canadian workforce.

Bridging programs may focus on these areas:

  • Skills/education assessment
  • Workplace experience
  • Skills training / targeted academic training
  • Preparation for licensure or certification exam
  • Language training for your profession

Is it the Right Time to Upgrade Your Skills?

Before you begin the process of upgrading your skills, consider whether or not you have the capability to learn at a full capacity. Look at the length of your desired training and determine if you are able to take that time away from work. Individuals who are working month-to-month in order to pay bills may want to consider options such as online or evening classes that are catered towards adults who work during the day.

Finances should also be considered when selecting a program for skill upgrading. Consider the cost of the training and whether or not you can afford it. Micro loans from non-profit organizations such as Career Loans are available for newcomers who require financial assistance. Seek out local newcomer and settlement organizations to learn more about your options.

Related blog: Micro Loans - an Investment for Your Career

Continue Your Career Today!

Still unsure about whether or not you should upgrade your skills? Skilled newcomers in Alberta and Saskatchewan can receive free career and financial support from the expert counsellors at Career Loans. Eligible members will have the chance to discuss their plans and develop a personalized action plan to make their goals a reality. Eligible members can also benefit from a micro loan of up to $15,000 that can help pay off the cost of bridging programs and other fees required for them to return to a desired career.

Learn more and sign up now by clicking here!

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Career Loans provides career counselling and micro loans to Internationally Trained Individuals in regulated and non-regulated occupations and trades, who are looking to return to their chosen profession.

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Is Now the Right Time for Upgrading Your Skills?

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Read more

PrepCan-Online Newcomer Information Centre is coordinated and funded by:

Centre for Education & Training Mississauga logo Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada logo


All Career Loans virtual services will continue during this time; our hours of operation remain the same at 8:30AM – 4:30PM (MT) from Monday to Friday. Please contact us if you require assistance outside of these hours.