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For international immigrants the choice to relocate their entire lives to a completely different country, such as Canada, can be an incredibly overwhelming and daunting experience. They come here to embark on a new and improved way of life, which includes finding a job and that’s where Durham College can help.

Through the Colleges Integrating Immigrants to Employment (CIITE) project, funded by the Government of Ontario, the college has developed its Internationally Trained Immigrants Advising Service designed to improve educational, training and employment pathways for internationally trained immigrants including providing access to a free comprehensive advisor service.

Each year, thousands of men and women arrive in Ontario with global training and skills that are valuable to the province’s workforce, yet many are not employed in their field due to various obstacles. Durham College’s advising services can be essential to helping them find a career that they are qualified to do while helping them adjust to life in a new country.

The college’s services focus on one-on-one advising sessions that provide customized solutions for individual needs. Each individual is given personal attention and a centralized point of contact at the college that they can get in touch with for any questions they may have.

The advisor also provides information about academic options; credential assessment; potential employment opportunities; and language and professional skill enhancement. They also offer information specific to Durham Region including referrals to additional community resources and services.

Daniyal Rehman is a shining example of what can be accomplished with the assistance of these services. After immigrating to Canada from Pakistan in 2005, he soon realized that it could take years to receive the proper licensing that would enable him to continue his career as a practising physician. He instead decided to become a paramedic. Easier said than done.

Armed with Bachelor’s degrees in Medicine and Surgery and six years of clinical practice experience, Rehman was informed that his skills surpassed that of a two-year Paramedic program and that all he needed was ambulance training. But after contacting numerous colleges, he was told that his only option was to complete the entire program.

He finally found the help he needed through Susan Domokos, internationally trained immigrants advisor at Durham College. Domokos worked with Rehman to develop an academic plan that would require him to take only the courses he needed. As a result, he will graduate at this month’s spring convocation ceremony.

CIITE is another example of Durham College’s commitment to providing high-quality programs and services that are aimed at helping qualified people find good jobs. These services lead to productive citizenship and a highly skilled workforce designed to boost Durham Region, Ontario and Canada’s economy.

For more information about Durham College’s internationally trained immigrant services, please call 905.721.2000 ext. 2020 or e-mail itiadvisor@durhamcollege.ca.

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