Hed: Breaking Barriers to Canadian Employment

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Farook* is a landed immigrant from Pakistan. When he came to Canada he had over 10 years of truck driving experience. To become a licensed truck driver in Ontario he enrolled in a program at the Humber College Transportation Training Centre. He successfully completed the Commercial Driver Training Program Class “AZ”.

Farook passed his truck driving license test and is now working as a driver for a major brewery.

Farook faced the challenge of many newcomers: finding a Canadian job in their field. Farook was successful because he received Canadian training. This was funded by a loan from The Maytree Foundation – Alterna Savings Immigrant Employment Loan Program.

The loan program provides financial assistance to landed immigrants and protected persons in the GTA who require short-term training (up to one year) that leads to certification and employment in their chosen occupation.

Often newcomers do not have a credit history or collateral. This means it is difficult to receive a bank loan to pay for training. With the Immigrant Employment Loan Program, borrowers have to show the following:

Have previous education, skills, and experience in their chosen occupation that can be transferred to the Canadian workforce through short-term training
Have English language skills to gain employment in their field
Be unable to get credit from a traditional financial institution, due to lack of credit history and possibly lack of current employment
Be highly motivated to succeed
The maximum loan that will be considered is $5, 000.

Farook is not the only newcomer to find success with the help of the program. Nahid is a landed immigrant from Iran who has10 years of experience as a midwife. She successfully completed the International Midwifery Pre-Registration Program at Ryerson University. Then she passed the College of Ontario Midwives licensing exam. She is currently working as a registered midwife.

There is also Raymond, a landed immigrant from the Philippines. He has 20 years of experience as a chemical engineer and quality assurance associate. Raymond successfully completed the Advanced Quality Assurance Certificate at Humber College. He is now a senior quality assurance technician at a glassware company.

Other borrowers of the program have found employment in nursing, pharmacy, welding, and library sciences.

Would you like to learn more? To find out how to apply for a loan, please visit www.maytree.com or call 416-944-2627 and ask for Stephanie Saunders.

The Maytree Foundation is a private, Canadian charitable foundation formed in 1982. The Foundation is committed to reducing poverty and inequality in Canada and to building strong civic communities.

Alterna Savings is a member-owned financial co-operative. It provides a full range of services to 190,000 members through a branch and ABM network, including 12 branches in the GTA.

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