Employers and Global Talent Say "Yes" to IWES!

Internationally educated ICT professionals find work in their field in Canada through Integrated Work Experience Strategy (IWES)

VANCOUVER, Jan. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) and S.U.C.C.E.S.S. are proud to announce the successful uptake of Integrated Work Experience Strategy (IWES), a new bridge-to-work program for internationally educated professionals (IEPs) with a background in information and communications technology (ICT). Funded by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program, IWES prepares IEPs for employment in Canada's ICT sector by providing training and experience in workplace cultural intelligence, workplace communication, business networking and community connections.

"Attracting and retaining the best international talent to address existing and future labour market challenges is critical to Canada's long-term economic success," said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. "Our Government is working to address barriers to foreign credential recognition so that newcomers can maximize their talents, contribute to their communities, and help build a stronger Canada."

From March to December 2009, 29 IEPs participated in the program, which was hosted in the Greater Vancouver area. The IWES pilot helps address current employment barriers facing highly skilled ICT IEPs, creates opportunities for these professionals to find meaningful employment in the ICT industry, and supports the industry as it responds to workforce skills shortages. Ultimately, the program aims to increase the employment readiness of highly qualified IEPs to meet the demand of the ICT sector.

"In partnership with the Information and Communications Technology Council, the Integrated Work Experience Strategy demonstrates our mutual commitment to help global talent integrate into the Canadian workforce," said Tung Chan, CEO of S.U.C.C.E.S.S. "This bridge-to-work program creates new opportunities and helps prepare highly educated internationally trained professionals in information and communications technology for a promising new career in Canada."

IWES assists internationally educated ICT professionals who are legally entitled to work in Canada and are recent immigrants to Canada. IEPs must have a background in ICT/IT, be committed to completing an intensive program, and have an interest in working in Canada's ICT sector.

The IWES program features a six-week intensive in-classroom training, including interactive workshops, followed by at least three months of guided work experience (or practicum). It allows IEPs to identify and improve their business, communications, and interpersonal skills, which are necessary for successfully integrating into the Canadian ICT workplace.

"The IWES program is exactly what employers need to help internationally educated professionals integrate more quickly and seamlessly into Canada's workforce," said Paul D. Swinwood, President of ICTC. "Overall, 90% of all participants have received a practicum and/or employment. Given the program's incredible success, we are already considering expanding it and rolling it out across Canada."

IWES is part of ICTC's Immigration Initiatives, which aims to strengthen Canada's competitive advantage in the global ICT market by developing programs, tools and resources for IEPs and employers working with IEPs.

The program is funded by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) program.

About ICTC

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit sector council that strives to create a diverse, prepared and highly educated Canadian ICT industry and workforce. We forge partnerships that will help develop the quantity and quality of ICT professionals needed to maintain and improve Canada's position as a leader in the global marketplace. www.ictc-ctic.ca

About S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

Founded in 1973 and incorporated in 1974 as a non-profit charitable organization, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is now one of the largest immigration and social service agencies in British Columbia. S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is a member agency of United Way of the Lower Mainland. Its primary objective is to promote the wellbeing of Canadians and immigrants by providing social, educational and health services, and through business and community development and advocacy. www.successbc.ca


For further information: For further information: Eileen Lao, Manager, Public Affairs, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., (604) 408-7243, eileen.lao@success.bc.ca; Tammy Bokhari, Communications Manager, Immigration Initiatives, ICTC, (613) 237-8551 ext 129, t.bokhari@ictc-ctic.ca

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