A Unique Program supporting the economic integration of Newcomers and Refugees
Career Launch in Canada Knowledge and Skills (CLICKS) is an innovative program designed by WSC to promote the integration of refugees and vulnerable newcomers into the labour market in Ontario. It was started in January 2018 with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and will wrap up in September 2019. Early results show an employment success rate of over 65%.
The CLICKS program worked to improve job readiness through customized skills training modules, work experience projects and employment support. It was a success at many levels. Participants gained competitive skills, experience and a network and WSC gained know-how on a program delivery model that produces excellent results without requiring a huge investment of resources.
On March 20, 2019 a special graduation ceremony was held. This heartfelt report was written by one of our graduates.
CLICKS Graduation Ceremony
by Gunjan Upadhyay
March 20, 2019 was a day of celebration for us…
As CLICKS program participants we had been lucky to come together under the canopy of support that is Working Skills Centre. We represented different countries, cultures, backgrounds and professional levels, all sailing in the same boat – trying to find a new start in this great country. As newcomers we did not have any idea of where and how to start.
Thankfully we had a chance to come to WSC and attend a settlement counselling session with Executive Director Marina Nikova. We found the CLICKS program to be absolutely suitable for newcomers who want to be part of the Canadian workplace and we became a family with our supportive instructors and staff members of WSC. Coming here is like you are going to meet your extended family. Everyone is always ready to help and always available. By the end of the program we were all connected to each other and left with mixed feelings of sadness and happiness. We graduated from the program with new hopes and aspirations for the future.
The graduation ceremony was an amazing event and I was overwhelmed with the preparation and sincerity of the staff to make the event a success. I offered my help but staff told me: “You are the guest today so enjoy your evening.”
My former classmates were in their red gowns looking so academic but the ambience was light-hearted. We welcomed each other and shared our experiences. The event started with our national anthem, followed by speeches by some of my colleagues and the distribution of our program certificates, a task shared by all the instructors. Some of the current students from WSC had composed a song about love and a poem “Success is attainable”. We were moved by their kind gesture.
We had a guest speaker, Christina Chu who shared some helpful information with us about job search goals. Marina wrapped up the ceremony with a closing speech and invited us for a cake cutting ceremony followed by refreshments.
The event was an opportunity to network and take stock of our progress. We had a chance to chat with each other and exchange the information about our job search. Some students are now working and some are still looking for work but we all share something in common: a sense of confidence in the future. And this is all because of Working Skills Centre.
A big thanks to WSC and the entire staff from Marina to Claudia, Isabel, Tracy, Silva, Matilda, Sofia, Mark, Dr. Mobaswar, Dr. Nawal, Shodhan and Mark. You have been part of our journey and we hope you will always be here for us when we need you.
Best wishes to all of you.
CLICKS Graduation Photos