Categorized | Immigrant

Muslim Community Services: Collaborating with Service Provides for Newcomers’ Benefit

Posted on 26 July 2012 by admin

By Staff Writer

The employment market is definitely not doing great at the moment but we do provide the new immigrants the advantage of expanding their social and professional exposure.

A newcomer brings another language, a new experience, exposure to international market which can be used as an asset to the companies here.

Muslim Community Servicesis an organization of diverse professionals dedicated to enhancing newcomer community engagement. It was established in 1987 as a non-profit organization to serve and work with newcomers to facilitate their settlement and integration into Canada. We offer a wide range of services and learning opportunities to connect newcomers to a better future in the ever changing Canadian society. GenerationNext got in touch with Janice Hubbard to askhow this organization is making a difference in the lives of new immigrants:

What kind of immigrant services do you provide?

We offer LINC services, language training, employment services. We also conduct classes to help them with no beginning or end period. It depends on their individual requirement.

Do you cater to only Muslim community?

 We serve all clients regardless of their origin or nationality.

Do you find that many South Asian immigrants need English languageservices?

I think that even if they had English training in their native country, there is always a difference of language from place to place. So it is essential for allimmigrants to learn the language as it helps in better understanding of culture and behaviour.

Are the needs of male immigrants a little different from femaleimmigrants?

That holds true for all the females around the world. Women generally have more family responsibilities than men. We try to look at every client and understand the requirements and needs individually. Men usually take care of the financial responsibilities in the house.

Do you help people finding jobs?

Yes, we provide employment services like making resumes, finding opportunities, identifying skills, and mock interviews, preparing them to enter the job market, search and keep a job.

What kinds of jobs do you help in finding, in medical, IT or engineering fieldsetc.?

We deal with all kinds of professionally trained immigrants. We constantly make an effort to connect them with the employers. A newcomer brings another language, a new experience, exposure to international market which can be used as an asset to the companies here. We realize that certain professions are more difficult than other and require further certifications. Hence, we have programs which cater to specific programs.

With the current job market in Canada, how big a challenge is it to find jobs for immigrants and you as a company?

The employment market is definitely not doing great at the moment but we do provide the new immigrants the advantage of expanding their social and professional exposure.

How many immigrants do you serve in a year?

We serve from 11,000 to 13,000 immigrants. We operate from three locations, two in rampton and one in Mississauga

Generally speaking, what age immigrants do you serve?

We serve all age groups and we look at all their activities. Most of our clients range between 25 years to 55 years.We provide guidance to them about health and school. We have group programs to help them excel in their leadership skills and performance.

Do you have programs for seniors and youth?

We have a leadership program for youth. Thisprogramhelps them to be able to impact and influence decisions. We have a Connections Program for the seniors. In this program, we invite seniors on a regular basis for information sessions. We provide them with computers in their own language as it is important for them to be connected with their own family back home.

What makes your organization better than others?

We don’t look at other companies as competitors rather we look at them as complementing services to what we have. We believe in collaborating with other service providers so we are able to provide better services. All our counsellors are multi-lingual, so they can understand and meet the needs of our clients in a better way.

What is your preferred method of communicating?

In all our branches combined, we speak over 18 languages for example Arabic, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, Polish, French, Spanish, and Romanian etc. Also we have volunteers who help us in casethe language acts as a barrier.

What major challenges are you currently facing as an organization?

Working in a fast paced dynamic environment is a challenge. To keep our staff up-to-date with policies, benefits from government, services provided by various resources, current developments and changing needs are also some of the challenges. This way, we can refer those to clients, keeping them well informed on what’s going on. We have programs conducted in libraries if the clients are not able to come to our organization. Similarly,we provide programs in 56 schools in Brampton both elementary and secondary. We want to be inclusive and be able to reach everybody. The immigrants that come here have a big advantage of being internationally trained.

What is the organization’s plan for the next five years?

We have another department working on it. It’s hard to comment before our strategic department releases it. We keep in mind the areas to work on, focus more, and improve.

What is your company’s policy on attending seminars, workshops, and other
 training opportunities?

We encourage the staff at all times to update and upgrade their knowledge. In order to maintain the quality of services we provide, it is essential to have trained and well informed staff.

If you are a new immigrant, seeking nay of the services mentioned in this interview, please visit Muslim Community Services at www.muslimcommunity.org or call at (905) 790-1910.

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