New Canadians get work experience at CFB Esquimalt

Liliane Lucarevsci

Liliane Lucarevsci, Human Resources Assistant with Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton’s Records Managment Office, was connected with her position through the Federal Internship for Newcomers Program.

Friends and co-workers gathered at the Wardroom March 19 to bid farewell to five participants of the Federal Internship for Newcomers program, (FIN) who found temporary employment at CFB Esquimalt.

The FIN program is a pilot project between Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Emploi et Développement social Canada (EDSC), which connects newcomers to Canada with employers in the Canadian job market related to their job experience.

“When I was coming to Canada I wasn’t sure where I was going to work, if I would be able to find work in my field,” says Liliane Lucarevschi, one of five FIN program applicants who worked at CFB Esquimalt over the past six months.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Lucarevschi has been working as a Human Resources Administrative Assistant with FMF Cape Breton’s Records Management Office since September 2013.

“When I heard about the FIN program I signed up right away. I had all these job search boards and resources at my fingertips. After a while I was able to find administrative work, which was what I did in Brazil. It was perfect.”

To be eligible for the FIN program local applications must first be screened by the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre to test their experience and English aptitude. Following the application, participants are screened, and if they’re found to be suitable for government work they are invited to a panel interview. From there, managers screen pools of resumes, and offer suitable applicants positions.

“I applied for the program in May and was offered a job in September,” says Lucarevschi. “I was surprised but excited at how easy it ended up being. The interview process was the most difficult, but after that it all fell into place.”

Currently the FIN program applies to employers in the National Capital Region, Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria. According to Sonia Lesage of CIC, the program has ambitions of expanding to other regions.

“The Government of Canada leads by example in the integration of newcomers to Canada’s labour market,” she says. “Though we’ve begun the pilot program in a few key regions as time goes on other locations will be identified for future work as interest demands.”

Lesage says the program was created as a reflection of Canada’s commitment to giving new Canadians a leg up when it comes to finding new work, but also utilizing any skills and past work experience they may already have.

“Newcomers may lack relevant Canadian work experience, networking opportunity, or may not be familiar with the market,” she says. “With the FIN program we hope to make it easier for members to enter the workforce and find employment which suits their skills best.”

Lucarveschi is thankful for the help afforded by the FIN program, and would encourage anyone coming to Canada to pursue it.
“I loved my job, and my co-workers were all very kind and supportive,” she says. “With the FIN program it was a lot easier than I thought it would be to find a workplace that fit so well.”

-Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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