Taking their place in the job market
“When I arrived, I only spoke Portuguese. It took me a year and a half to learn French,” said Amado, who expresses herself today in French with surprising ease. Amado, who has a bachelor’s in administration from her country, quickly realized that she would have an easier time getting a job if she enriched her training with a local diploma.
“I chose to complete a certificate in applied computer science at the Université de Montréal. It’s a field that I was always attracted to and that seemed to offer good opportunities,” she said.
From theory to practice
Following her graduation, Amado learned about the Projet Intégration-Travail-Formation (PITF) offered by the city’s Bureau d’intégration des nouveaux arrivants à Montréal (BINAM) from her job search club in LaSalle. Out of all the participating companies, she was interested in Desjardins and its job postings.
“I applied and got the job of programmer/program analyst,” said the Montréal resident happily.
In the eyes of new graduates, getting a job is hard work… just imagine how hard it is for newcomers! Thanks to the PITF, Amado and eight new immigrants got job search training.
A guiding program
“The first month of the 52-week program, we spent in training. The hardest part for me was learning all the specialized French vocabulary that goes with my new position,” said Amado.
With her personalized integration plan in hand and supported by a technical mentor and a social mentor (two Desjardins employees that she was paired with), Amado progressed and gained confidence. Mid-way through the program, she says she’s very proud of the progress she’s made and her projects, which are increasing in complexity.
“My technical mentor has taught me everything. She’s given me challenges that meet my abilities. She’s generous with her advice and is always available to help me,” said Amado.
As for her social mentor, he has been a valuable source of support for such things as becoming part of the team and discoveries around work life in Québec, such as, “How do you ask for a day off here?” or “What if your key card doesn’t work one morning?”
“Between team members, we also talk a lot about our experiences at lunchtime,” she said.
Working… and having fun!!
After the integration project, some participants will be hired by Desjardins. All of them will leave with invaluable work experience that will get them ahead in their job search, along with solid references.
“This program is important for newcomers like me. I like my work weeks, and I get to enjoy the city on my days off!” said Amado.
“We like to visit the Parc Angrignon with the family. And we love LaSalle! We’re right next to the water. Even though it isn’t the sea, it’s beautiful,” she said (having grown up next to the ocean in Brazil!)
The Intégration – Travail – Formation project (in French)
Inspired by Montréal’s Programme de parrainage professionnel (in French), the PITF aims to support big Montréal employers by experimenting with and evaluating innovative recruitment processes for recruiting, integrating and retaining qualified workers who have recently arrived in Québec.