“My experience with PICS has been a great journey and worth a mention in my experience of migrating to Canada. I landed in Canada just when COVID hit the economy badly with multiple lay offs in the country making it much more difficult for a new comer to start a career here. I was looking for some help wherein I posted about it on multiple social groups and then someone referred me to PICS and this is how I got introduced.
After initial connect, I got the quintessential support that was much needed to ease the stress of migration and job search. I was taught about the important considerations in a job search as a new immigrant which really helped me in fine tuning my Linkedin profile, Resume, interview questions etc thus making my profile more valuable for the current job market.
Post this, I was introduced to the case managers wherein both worked really hard to provide the required assistance wherein they discussed my long-term career goals based on my past experience as well as current aspirations and accordingly suggested the required actions to realize them. They gave me details about the complete program and how PICS can help me in this journey through various means and designed an action plan that included different stages until we realize the objective. They also helped me in finalizing the training that I could take for better job opportunities in line with my career goal.
The complete PICS team made my journey of finding job much easier with the continuous guidance at every step, be it a group session or a personal mentoring they were always available. I salute the work you guys are doing in helping immigrants settling down in a completely new country with altogether a different job market. I have now found a job and fortunately doing really well in there. Thanks to PICS team for all the support they have provided in this.”
“I am Bijoy Naidu, I landed in Canada on January 27th, 2020 as a Skilled Immigrant from India. I was lucky that I could enter this country just before COVID-19 outbreak, but due to this virus it was hard for me to find a good work opportunity. As my previous work experience was in Sales and Marketing specifically in the IT Industry, I was looking for something same here in Vancouver.
I was introduced to PICS by another social service organization called MOSAIC because PICS is specialized in helping people in Sales and Marketing profiles and I was looking for something same. Soon after joining the Career Path program with PICS, I started getting immense support from my Case Manager and Employer Relation Specialists. Their goal-setting plan, job search strategy, extremely well designed online workshops, timely follow-ups and job postings helped me a lot in finding the best opportunity I could get in the start of my career in Canada, and they are still doing that.
Currently I am working in Foreseeson Technology Inc. as a Sales Specialist. The company is in the same industry in which I was working before in my Home country, and I feel very fortunate to get this kind of opportunity. I cannot thank PICS enough and the Career Paths program team for supporting me in every step of my career path. Not only have they helped me in finding a good starting career but they have also supported my morale when I was in a survival job.
Since I landed in Vancouver, I went to many job programs but I have never seen staff as supportive as they are here in PICS. I wish best for PICS and hope that the program helps many immigrants like me to achieve their dream career in Canada.”
“It is a great pleasure to share my experience regarding PICS and the services that I availed. My Career counsellor and the entire team helped me in providing valuable information regarding my dream career trajectory. They provided me information through seminars, webinars and introducing us to people who shared similar career journeys. Such programs helped me to maintain my zeal and encouraged to work on my education and transferable skills amidst period like COVID19. Also, they encouraged me to avail FCR study loan program that is really helpful for immigrants like me who want to begin their career in secured financial environment. The counsellors at PICS are really dedicated to their job and are available for their client to help them take wise decisions. I am so happy to find such a great help and continue to share good bond with PICS staff. I highly recommend this program to everyone who seeks suitable career guidance and financial assistance to live their dream career. “
“I take this opportunity to appreciate and thank the FCR Program and Counsellor who guided me to get through financial assistance in the form of a study loan from Vancity. The overall process was well guided and my counsellor left no stone unturned to make it happen even in the midst of hard times (covid-19 pandemic). She is so good and cooperative that my words may fall short to describe her assistance provided at each step. I have high regards for PICS which provided me with the services of such helpful and friendly staff members. I highly recommend PICS to all newcomers. It is just like a second home for them who need proper guidance, education and assistance in the very initial years of their settlement in Canada.”
“I have heard about Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society – Foreign Credential Recognition Program through the social media, Facebook. They made an advertisement regarding a free seminar for those who just came to Canada and has a career to be a teacher. I vividly remember that the seminar addressed different concerns and gave us information about teaching and how does it work in Canada and because of that I have the chance to talk to one of the FCR Career and Financial Counsellor She helped me regarding the financial loan program that can assist me in getting an online course that I needed as an English as a Second Language teacher. The FCR program assisted me with resume review and resume building when it comes to writing my resume. FCR program gave me appropriate advises that truly helped me in the career path I am going to take here as a permanent resident.
The FCR Program and counsellors made sure that despite the COVID-19 situation the financial assistance and its processes are done as smoothly as possible without delay and hassle free. Thanks to the counsellor and to the FCR program. I pray that they can help more people like me.”
“It is my pleasure to thank the FCR counselor, my employment Coach and the FCR loan program for their brilliant roles in finding financial support in order to continuing studies and getting new sources of useful information. They are very hardworking people, very fast in providing help and answering questions. I would definitely recommend newcomers to use this program to help them just focus on their job’s technical aspects and feel free about financial issues.”
“As a new immigrant in Canada, I was curious to get back to my professional job after landing in Canada. After attending counselling sessions and speaking to my career advisor at PICS, Vancouver office I got to know about the Foreign Credential Recognition Loan Program which would help me get my International Degree evaluated here in BC and later I can apply to jobs. PICs also guided me in editing my resume according to Canadian Job Market and are still keeping in touch with me every time to give me any important information that will be helpful for me as a new immigrant in Canada. I am thankful to the entire team of PICS – FCR those who helped me in extending the moral, as well as financial support and I, would definitely recommend FCR for new immigrants.”
“This letter is in reference to Kamaljeet Bharya. She is working as a counsellor with PICS in the settlement and Integration program. She has helped my family a lot, filing government forms such as the Canadian Pension Plan and renewal of the Permanent Residence application. She guides seniors with great respect and provides the necessary information to fulfill their needs. Being multilingual she provides the people all the info in their language. My parents are very grateful and happy with Kamaljeet’s help and guidance. I would gladly recommend her to any family who needs counselling or guidance in the Settlement program.”
“FCR program has been of great aid to me since last year. The first form of help I received from the FCR counsellor was when I was stumbled upon the confusion of how to get a loan. Recently due to COVID 19 I was faced with the decision to apply for EI. FCR Counsellor was proactive and helped me today to apply for EI. Thank you.”
Sometimes we need a push in life to get us to where we want to go. Every experience helps us understand more about the world and also ourselves. I can honestly say that the S.I.Y.E.P. program has given me insight on my path to becoming everything I want to be. Years later from now I will reflect on this experience, and I will know that it enhanced my knowledge of the “ins and outs” of the employment process.
Prior to the S.I.Y.E.P. program, I knew little about what employers are truly looking for in a worker. I learned the difference between hard and soft skills; also I started to understand more of my strengths and weaknesses in these areas. I found that I have more behavioral skills than I ever really realized. Another huge bonus to this course was getting some of my expired tickets renewed, like WHMIS and Occupational First Aid. I feel much more confident in myself moving forward towards graduation. I feel as if I have been blessed with the “magic formula” to being the best I can be and a desirable employee. The skills I have acquired are going to separate me from the average person in any industry.
I have been taught a lot of skills in a short period of time here at PICS. Networking would have to be one of the most important. Oddly enough we found that word of mouth is the most common contributor to employment. After all, you are the people you surround yourself with. On top of that, I learned how to make a “bullet proof” resume and cover letter. The contrast between my old resume and the new one is astonishing. They are not even close in comparison. It is important to “awe” an employer when seeking a new job. That’s why my new found assets of an elevator pitch and “S.T.A.R. stories” are so crucial to me now. These are great tools to have in your back pocket, and they definitely set you apart from the competition. I can’t wait to see how far I am able to go with all these new techniques.
Moving forward, I have set some goals and milestones for future achievements. My main initiative is to acquire my Red Seal certification as a carpenter. This will give me the ability to work as a fully certified carpenter, anywhere in Canada. In order to accomplish this task, I want to become sponsored by an employer that will set me up with the apprenticeship program so that I can start my first year degree of trade school (Carpentry). I would like to carry out my education at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Cloverdale Campus. Another long term goal I have after completion of my Red Seal is to become a foreman on a job site. Foremen manage resources and their staff of lead hands and labourers as they oversee daily operations. This is something I would love to do, after I’ve gained enough hands on experience in the field.
All in all, I am miles ahead of where I used to be in the understanding of pre-employment preparation. As soon as I walk into that next interview, or apply for that next job, I will leave the employer impressed and give them no reason to doubt me as a valid candidate in joining their team. I have the S.I.Y.E.P. program to thank for all of this.
Hello, my name is Ravneet Kaur and I have recently immigrated to Canada. I have done Bachelor in Dental Surgery and Masters in Public Health. Being a Dentist by profession, I have an experience of working in healthcare for more than 2 years. I am writing this letter in order to summarize my experience in the PICS S.I.Y.E.P program.
Firstly, I joined this program for social integration, to understand the culture of Canada and to get an employment in my field of work. But my experience in S.I.Y.E.P. program is much more than I expected. This program aided me in realising my self worth and in gaining my confidence back which was kind of lost when I moved to Canada. Also, everybody related to this project has put up a lot of efforts in planning the whole curriculum in order to cater to the needs of each and every person who participated in it.
Furthermore, support in every form whether it was emotional, mental or financial was received with utmost care from all who managed the project. Actually I could see that support from the very beginning when some technical issues aroused in my intake and the way it was followed up was amazing and it touched my heart. Despite a lot of differences in racial and cultural background of all the participants, there was not a single instance that made me felt an outsider.
Secondly, on the professional front, it assisted me in gaining valuable employment skills like networking, public speaking, resume and cover letter writing. In addition to this, preparation for the interviews, gaining certifications and work experience at PICS mega job fair were additional benefits that I received during the whole curriculum. Though I had achieved a lot while in the program but my biggest accomplishment was the ability to speak in front of everyone to give presentation on my own culture. Besides giving me confidence, it also instilled a sense of pride in me when I learned astonishing facts about my culture’s history
Moreover, the experience of managing the administrative work in PICS Mega Job Fair along with other teammates is going to be an asset for me. I learned how to plan, manage such a big event and what all is needed in order to make the event successful. Apart from this, fabricating the career action plan has given me the pathway to achieve my ultimate goal of pursuing dentistry in Canada. Also, it helps me to stay focused and plan for the future in accordance to my capabilities.
Concluding it, I can say that this was much needed program of my life that helped me to gain the necessary strength to overcome all the odds in order to achieve my goals and the belief that I can do well in any adverse situation and can excel. The enthusiastic and motivating environment that I have visualised here will keeps on inspiring me in the future too.
Since I came to Canada 2014, I was trying to find a way to prove myself. To be a dentist in Canada is costly. However, I had to go this hard way, I started already doing my exams, successfully finished two of them but It was hard for me to go to the last step without the FCR program. They helped me a lot, by giving me clear clues about my main plan as well as the alternative ones. When I applied for the loan, in less than 24h, I got the approval and in less than 3 days, the money was already in my account, ready to go
When you get the loan, theoretically, you think job is done. No, it did not. FCR program will be still supporting you tremendously by sending you all the events and the opportunities that might be helpful for you. I’m really grateful for them and without them, I would not be able to move forward.
Hey Barry, I have been wanting to revisit the Vancouver South Office but wasn’t sure when to drop by. How have you all been doing recently? As for myself, I have been doing very well. I recently got a job working at a University Office. The skills I developed in the PICS office have been invaluable to me. I am inexpressibly grateful for the experience with PICS that’s now translating to my professional career. On another side note, do you remember on my first day at work you handed me a pen and told me to hold on to it? Well, I was at my cousin’s wedding last week, and just as they were about to sign the wedding certificate, they realized they did not have a pen. So I reached into my pocket, found the PICS pen, and lent it to them. And even though by accident I managed PICS product placement at the wedding. Please let me know how the office is faring and give my regards to former colleagues (particularly to Minal, Maninder, Skye, Sandy, Winston, Linda and VJ).
About 2 years ago my mom and I were at a physio appointment. She was in for an assessment for the types of equipment she would need such as a cane, walker, wheelchair etc. At the physio office we had a conversation about services available to help mom. I am 70 years old and my mom is 91. We were both eligible for The South Vancouver Better at Home Program services however at the time I thought she would benefit from it.
My mom lived on her own until the hearty age of 88. She was diagnosed with dementia which was mild at the time, however it has aggressively progressed. Before her memory loss, she was sort of a “neat freak” so I think at times it gives her a sense of calming to see someone clean or to be in a clean home. She was always very particular about the way she cleaned and so she is always watching the housekeeper from her chair. It was very difficult to explain things to her about why we had to move her in with myself and my husband. She was comfortable and used to being on her own. The moment I started noticing mice droppings and ants in the corners of the kitchen I just knew we had to change things up. The building managers in her previous home were not very on top of the cleanliness of the place.
I have find The Better At Home Program has been very good, it has helped me a lot. I am the main caregiver for my mom however, with my own health conditions, it had been difficult. I have breathing problems and arthritis. The program has been sort of a necessity for me; it has made a good impact for me. The housekeeper is great, she is a nice person.
I would have a hard time going without the housekeeping service. Communication is great with the program, if I have to cancel or switch appointments. Mom and I look forward to seeing the housekeeper every 2 weeks. Mom doesn’t always recognize her, but she sees a friendly face and it makes her smile.
It’s been about a year since I started to use the program for my mom and I. I heard about the program through the south health team and the physiotherapist. It takes a burden off and I think I am surprised at how much the housekeeper is able to accomplish in 1.5 hours.”
I am Deep Kumar and 79 years old. Two years earlier in September 2014, I was very sick and could not walk properly. Fortunately, I got a space in PICS Assisted Living. I feel like it’s a blessing from God. The care given to me has brought me back to good health. I have no relations and no family support in Canada, but here at PICS it is like staying with my family. The staff here is very competent, good-natured and understanding. The food, environment and everything here is very good and it has truly “extended my life”. PICS is trying to open a new extended health facility and I request everyone to support them.
I am extremely fortunate and happy to find a second home at PICS Assisted Living. All my needs are met here just as if I was living at home! The food is very home-like and tasty, the staff is helpful, attentive and the management is always available to listen to any complaints and provide appropriate advice and remedies.
My fellow residents are very friendly and neighbourly and I enjoy their company. My two rooms equipped with a kitchenette and shower, are very spacious and meet all my needs. I think it is worth the long wait to become a resident.
I really appreciate all staff who are involved in FCR program as well as PICS as they are helping professional like me to achieve our goal and offer better and professional service to the society also wonderful customer service of Vancity at main street for cooperation and helping also special thanks to Mrs. Meena Verma that was so helpful and professional as well as Mr. Kevin Lau who was amazing and very professional in his department as an account manager in Vancity.
It was a very fast process with Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) and Vancity Bank for the personal loan program. After my application, the process was completed within couple of weeks then I got my loan. Although the loan was not to what I applied, but the rate of interest and processing charges were very much minimal too.
I was in a Skills Link Program for youth in PICS when the FCR Loan Program was introduced to me. Being a new immigrant to Canada with an education and work background in the health care industry in the Philippines, I know that I needed to upgrade my foreign credentials in order to legally practice my profession and to be recognized as a Nurse in BC. Upgrading would mean that I need to pass a series of English and licensing examinations before I could be registered in the BCCNP. This brought a financial challenge to me since I had only been starting to settle in Canada and my income was barely enough to meet my family’s daily expenses. Thankfully, the FCR staff, especially Manmeet who was my career counselor, were very patient in planning and discussing with me every detail of my career plan and how the program can help me achieve my short- and long-term career goals. The staff were very helpful and even went beyond what was expected of them by reaching out to the nursing regulatory body to clarify any questions and uncertainties that I had. With the FCR Team’s full support, I was approved for a loan amounting to $1600, enough to cover my English test preparation course and examination fees, and my NNAS credentials evaluation and registration. It also brought me peace of mind knowing that I will be financially capable to achieve my career goals without having to worry about providing for my family’s needs. Just recently, I got hired as a residential support worker and I am excited that I am one step further in the path towards reaching my dream to become an RN in BC. I am very grateful for the wonderful opportunity that PICS and the FCR Loan Program has given me.
Thank you Manmeet so much for helping me arranging finances for my exams. I feel myself lucky that I could contact you. You were so helpful and kind that I instantly connected with you and felt at ease talking to you about all my problems.
I immigrated to Canada from India as a skilled worker (professional, Doctor) and as you know, in Canada you have to write all the exams to get license for practicing medicine and the whole process is very expensive.
When I received a mail from Ms. Raj Brar regarding FCR program, I at once applied for the loan and met her, the very next day and she directed me to you.
You were so nice to help me and made the whole process so simple, that at no time I could feel that I am in foreign land. I got the loan within 2 weeks and that also the full amount, which I needed. I feel that I will definitely achieve my desired goal with your help and could serve the Canadian society.
I am pleased to share with you that I have cleared my first exam and my next exam is in March 2019 for which I am preparing. Thank you once again for your kind help and my special thanks to Ms. Raj Brar also. God bless you all.
Manjinder, I now have a job as a freelance writer with City of Surrey and I was able to get a job because of the information I gathered from the Job Options Program, specifically transferable skills, networking skills, and ‘sales pitch technique’ that learnt to create a website of my work.
Looking back, before joining this program I was little down and financially stressed. My husband had been laid off and we had two sons going into university. The thought of having to get back into a field that I’d been out of for almost 20 years was exhausting. I had taken classes to upgrade my skills for getting back into technical writing as well as some unpaid work to get my experience up, but I needed a boost to help me figure out how to do a proper job search. I tried different ways to get in the market but nothing Then I came to know about the PICS program. The program helped me explore the job market. I’ve gotten up to speed on social media, I’ve gained confidence in speaking with employers, and I have a realistic view of my transferable skills. But the biggest thing that has happened is that I now have the confidence to ask for help. I think my biggest barrier was my lack of confidence in my abilities, but participating in the Job Options Program has restored my confidence.
I am thankful to you and KC for the help and information both of provided through the program. I highly recommend this program for mature workers to pave the way to career. This program helps to get confidence and develop job search skills. I am thankful to PICS for having such a great program. PICS has awesome facilities and staff that always send positive message and encouragement at each and every step.
Merja (Job Options Program)
The Job Options Programs was unfortunately discontinued a few months ago due to lack of funding.
Hi Manjinder, Thank you for your help and support because of which I got a job in Superstore as a Cashier in the Deli department. I am excited to get my first job in Canada. Now, I can support myself. Thank you to PICS, Program Manager KC Chau and WIMI 45+ program for helping me.
I am a new Immigrant from the US and landed here 8 months ago. Finding a job in Canada is quite different than what it is in the United States. I was completely confused about the process and everyone was asking me for local experience and certification for every single job. It was strange to know that my over a decade of experience as a Baby Nurse had no value in the Canadian system. Then I come to know about PICS and it changed my life in Canada. Everybody welcomed me here with a smile and warmth. I joined WIMI 45+ program and it was the best decision of my life. The program is very informative and it gave me confidence to walk and talk in Canada as an informed immigrant. I learnt Computers and improved my job search skills and found a job at Superstore.
I must thank Manjinder and KC for the opportunity you both gave me. It is greatly appreciated. I will keep in touch. I’m very grateful for the help I got from PICS and I would recommend anyone who needs help to this program.
Dear Sukhwinder, We feel that writing about our experience is the best way we can thank you for all the help, knowledge, time and dedication that you have devoted to us and, still continue to.
As we all know, there are plenty of things that newcomers like us need to learn and adapt to in a new country. And that’s what we have been trying to do for the past year – fighting the settlement stress, adapting to a new environment, looking for jobs and learning everything from scratch. Among all this, we took over the lease for a house and decided to sublet the basement as help with rent. We accepted the tenant without checking references because she seemed fine but a couple months later we found ourselves in a unpleasant situation when she started creating problems and refused to move out, even threatening us with lawsuits. Completely shocked by what was going on, we were trying to figure out what to do and how to solve the situation in which we found ourselves. We visited all the Institutions and asked for help, but only received basic information which didn’t prove helpful. But thanks to people at Work BC who introduced us to you and PICS.
You listened to our problem and offered advice and assistance. Moreover the support we got from you reassured us that we are not alone here and that people in our new country are welcoming and ready to help new immigrants as they take their first steps. We can never thank you enough for the help you have provided us, especially in solving this situation.
Dear Eva, We would like to say that we are much thankful for your dedicated efforts to secure jobs for me (Sheetal Gupta) and my husband (Madhur Gupta). I would like to thank PICS also because of which we were able to meet you. We landed in Vancouver, Canada as newcomers on 6th July 2016 and were able to get jobs on 1st August 2016 with your help. Eva, we would just like to say a very warm thankful to you and can’t find enough words to express our feelings. I am happily working at Riviera Hotel with Mr. Kumar and my husband is working with in Pitt Meadows. Kindest and Best Regards