19 Sep The National Pre-Arrival Connector Program (NPACP)
By: Lisa Abramowicz, National Pre-Arrival Connector Program Advisor
To address the challenges that immigrants face making industry connections, the Halifax Partnership launched The Halifax Connector Program in 2009. The Program helps immigrants build their local professional network and connect with job opportunities.
Based on the success of the Halifax program, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada funded the Halifax Partnership three years ago to lead the National Connector Program (NCP). The NCP helps Canadian communities develop and launch their own Connector Programs.
Today, there are 15 active Connector communities across Canada.
The Connector Program is a simple and effective Internationally Trained Professional (ITP) retention model. Through one-on-one meetings, business and community volunteers, known as Connectors, meet with immigrants to share insights into the local labour market and provide them with a minimum of three industry contacts. This process repeats with each new referral, resulting in a number of new business contacts for the immigrant.
It’s a win-win for both the Connector and the Connectee. Connectors gain access to a wealth of diverse, pre-qualified talent while immigrants gain industry contacts, build their business network and learn about job opportunities.
Over the last three years, 834 newcomers have been matched with Connectors in 15 NCP communities (over 780 volunteer Connectors across Canada). To date, NCP programs have helped 184 immigrants find jobs in their communities.
I joined the Connector team in August 2015 to implement the National Pre-Arrival Connector Program (NPACP).
As the NPACP Advisor, I introduce economic class immigrants to National Connector Communities while they are still overseas. Our goal is to help pre-arrival immigrants with their job search and networking skills, provide them with a crucial head-start in building their professional network, and expedite their labour market and settlement integration to Canada. Through the NPACP, potential employers are able to meet great talent in advance and connect participants to their colleagues and business communities.
The NPACP is a Focal Point Partner with the Planning for Canada initiative, which is jointly implemented by the Canadian Immigration Integration Program (CIIP) and the Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) program. As a Focal Point Partner, the NPACP receives excellent international referrals for immigrant clients who meet the program criteria. We rely on the expertise and reach of the CIIP and COA facilitators to promote the NPACP and refer international clients.
Over the past nine months, I have received over 500 referrals for pre-arrival immigrant clients.
Renelyn Galanza is a pre-arrival participant from the Philippines who will be arriving in Halifax this summer. Renelyn says the NPACP has been very helpful in her job search, particularly in making industry connections. She says: “with this program, I am confident that I can find possible employers before I even land in Halifax.”
Navjot Singh is a recent immigrant from India who is now working as a Project Engineer at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. He says that “in spite of the fact that you are skilled, experienced and possess a CV that contains significant achievements… the fact is that you are NEW… new to Canada and new to its workforce. This can be a barrier in your job search.”
Through the Halifax Connector Program, Navjot was able to meet and network with key industry professionals which assisted him in getting and a job in his field.
There are many other examples of how the NPACP and Canadian Connector Programs help immigrants build their professional network and find suitable employment in their new Canadian communities.
We look forward to our continued work and partnership with Planning for Canada to help more Canadian immigrants be successful.
For more information on the National Connector Program visit www.connectorprogram.ca.