YWCA of Calgary

Canadian Employment Skills

The YWCA offers an employment readiness program to assist new Canadians in finding
meaningful and sustainable employment. The CES program works with immigrants that have
professional backgrounds, experience, and moderate to strong language skills. This 6-month,
full time program includes a classroom component followed by a work experience component.
Students are then assisted with job searching.

programs available for:

  • New Canadians

How to register:

Call: 403-294-7336

Now, my family and I are happy. I am happy because I feel like I belong in Canada, that I
am contributing and using my skills. Now I am proud to call Canada my home.

Samanthi’s Story

Samanthi came to Canada from Sri Lanka in 2008 where she had been employed as a Civil Engineer for 25 years. After settling in Calgary with her husband and three children, she set about to find work in her field: sending out hundreds of resumes; having her qualifications valuated; taking workshops in resume writing, interview skills and job search; taking English classes; and updating her skills with courses at SAIT.

Unfortunately, none of these strategies worked and Samanthi was unable to find work in her field. Eventually, she found a survival job with a printing company. But, the company closed down a year later and she was again without work. To make ends meet, she found part-time work at McDonald’s and the SAIT cafeteria. All the while, she continued taking night courses at SAIT.

Her husband was also struggling, working two jobs to support the family. In March 2010, he was hospitalized and had two by-pass surgeries creating more emotional and financial stress for the family. Samanthi remained undaunted and continued her job search and education.

One day, she was speaking to a friend who told her about the Canadian Employment Skills program at the YWCA of Calgary. This was a life-changing conversation. When asked about the program, Samanthi said, I changed a lot. The CES program restored my confidence; it helped me understand how I needed to adapt my ways of thinking and how important communication and building relationships were in the Canadian workplace.

When she went for her work experience interview, Samanthi felt confident because the program had prepared her. After her 12-week work experience, she was offered a position at Husky Energy.

The key to Samanthi’s success was the CES program. She feels grateful to the Alberta and Canadian governments for providing programs to help immigrants succeed. Her final comments were, “Now, my family and I are happy. I am happy because I feel like I belong in Canada, that I am contributing and using my skills. Now I am proud to call Canada my home”. I believe Canada should be grateful and proud to have her!