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Calgary agency helps train new immigrants for trades jobs

A Calgary non-profit organization is offering a wide range of employment-related training programs for future tradespeople.

In Momentum’s programs that lead to a career in trades, 90 per cent of those being trained are recent immigrants.

“It’s a lot of people who are experiencing employment barriers, so lots of new Canadians – maybe it’s language barriers, culture barriers,” Momentum’s Jeff Loomis said. “Our program is helping break down those barriers, so they get the skills to be successful in the trades.”

Some clients go on to continue their training with local construction companies. Amid continuing shortages of tradespeople, the companies are eager to hire as many qualified newcomers as possible.

“They just want to work and they want to be ambitious and they have a desire to learn and to continue to grow,” Chandos Construction’s Rob Cowan said. “They become future leaders for the team and as a result, our construction projects are stronger.”

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Click to play video: 'ISANS hoping to add more trades to newcomer workforce program'

ISANS hoping to add more trades to newcomer workforce program

Deokhyeon Kim, who arrived in Calgary from South Korea in 2021, is now an apprentice carpenter with Chandos, after training with Momentum.

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“(Both Chandos and Momentum) welcomed me with open arms,” Kim said.

All the parties involved in the training feel it brings widespread benefits.

“(Newcomers) are then more able to support themselves and their families,” Loomis said. “It’s a really meaningful impact.”

Kim is looking forward to a better future in Canada because of the support he’s been receiving in Calgary.

“I like the people – they always help me whenever I need it,” Kim said. “I feel like this city is giving more possibilities to me.”

Click to play video: 'Alberta looking to speed up job accreditation for foreign workers'

Alberta looking to speed up job accreditation for foreign workers

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