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Home Education Do skilled immigrants need a Canadian credential to get ahead?

Do skilled immigrants need a Canadian credential to get ahead?

Skilled immigrants to Canada bring with them job experience and also educational credentials. However, do they also need a Canadian credential to get ahead? Paula Calderon, National Director – Client Success at Windmill Microlending answers that question in conversation with New Canadians’ reporter Shruti Dargan.

Whether a skilled immigrant needs a Canadian credential or not depends on the profession. Is it regulated or non-regulated? Local education listed on your resume can also help you attract opportunities. “It’s important to do your research and understand what the requirements are in your profession, the sector you’d be working in, the type of companies that you’re working with, and what will help you advance in your career,” says Paula.

For those who might be convinced about local education and certifications but have finances as a barrier, Windmill Microlending can offer help by providing affordable loans for newcomers who don’t need to have a credit history or any collateral to support their application for a loan as long as they’re looking to build a career in Canada and they have a concrete plan as to what they want to do.

Watch the video for Paula’s insights that will help you understand if local education is what you need in your career right now and how Windmill’s loans of up to $15,000 for education and training could help you meet your goals.

Video transcript

Shruti Dargan:
On New Canadians today, we’re joined by Paula Calderon, National Director, Client Success at Windmill Micro-lending, and we’d be tackling the question, do you need a Canadian credential to get ahead? Welcome Paula.

Paula Calderon:
Thank you.

Shruti Dargan:
So skilled immigrants to Canada, bring with them job experience and also educational credentials. Is that enough or does one need local education too?

Paula Calderon:
I will always advocate for education, and local education is very valuable, but whether it’s necessary or not depends on whether you are in a regulated profession or non-regulated profession. So, in a regulated profession is any profession in which you require a license in the country to be able to practice in that field, in that case, I would say, yes, it is necessary. If not, then it’s worth investigating what is it that you can get locally that will help you get ahead. Education will always be a good thing to add to your resume. And if it’s local, there is more recognition of it, of course.

Shruti Dargan:
But is that something that recruiters and employers look for in a resume? Is local education really important in that document?

Paula Calderon:
What’s really important is to do the research and understand what the requirements are in each profession to be able to practice in Canada, and what recruiters or employers are looking for also depends on the profession, on the job that you’re applying for. But ultimately it’s about thinking, what do you want to do to build a career, right? So maybe it’s not for the first job, maybe you just get a job to get into the labor market and understand the sector that you’re in or the type of companies that you’re working with. But later on, if you want to build a career, it would be good to start thinking about what type of local education you need to be able to get ahead.

Shruti Dargan:
So local education can, of course help immigrants move ahead in their careers, but it could be expensive too. How can one access the funds that are required to be able to get a Canadian credential?

Paula Calderon:
The financial barrier is sometimes one of the obstacles that immigrants face, but because either they don’t have enough funds or you don’t want to dip into all of your savings,  to go out and get local education, and also the lack of access to credit is a big barrier because if you’re new to the country and as we know, building credit history is important. If you don’t have credit history, you probably can’t access loans to do that. So that’s where Windmill comes into place, right? We provide affordable loans, for newcomers who don’t need to have credit history or any collateral to support their application for a loan, as long as they’re looking to build a career in Canada, and they have a concrete plan as to what they want to do. So, it’s really important that you understand what you need, what will, help you get ahead, and how much you need to do that.

Paula Calderon:
And at Windmill, we’re here to support people through that process. So just labor market integration of newcomers is the reason why we exist. We want to see newcomer succeed and utilize their skills to their full potential. That is something that’s really important for individuals, and it’s really important for us as a country. So, we’re here to help people build those plans, to help people move forward in their careers and not just stay with jobs that are below their skill level or their education. So yeah, access to loans of up to $15,000 for education and training is what we provide.

Shruti Dargan:
Great, so is there a recommendation from your side about the right way to approach a Canadian credential?

Paula Calderon:
Do your research, talk to others who work in that field access, any services that are available for newcomer’s employment services, talk to an employment consultant talk to regulatory bodies, if you’re in a regulated profession research, what the regulatory body is and what the requirements are to practice in your profession and make decisions that will help you in the future, some people think that they have to get to Canada and right away go in and do another degree or get a full bachelor’s or master’s degree. And yet that, that could be the right thing, but don’t make those decisions until you fully understand what the requirements are in your field.

Shruti Dargan:
Well, thank you, Paula, for that advice and for your insights.

Paula Calderon:
Thank you very much.

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