In light of the unprecedented challenges that COVID-19 has brought into our professional lives, World Skills Employment Centre hosted a Public Sector Employer Panel on July 08, 2020. The aim of this online discussion was to help newcomer job seekers get a better sense of the current and foreseeable job opportunities in the Public Service.
Six panelists from different federal departments – Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), Service Canada and Shared Services Canada (SSC) – joined us over Zoom and addressed questions about finding work in the government now and after the pandemic is over:
1. Enrico W. del Castello, Director, Knowledge Mobilization & Partnerships, IRCC
2. Soophia Ahmad, Senior Program and Policy Advisor, IRCC
3. Evelyn Drescher, Senior Analyst, Strategic Policy and Planning, IRCC
4. Tammy Bokhari, Senior Business Analyst, Service Canada
5. Ishoo Brar, Senior Project Manager, Shared Services Canada
6. Emeric Zanetto, Project Manager, Job Bank, ESDC
We engaged the guests in a conversation around how in the last few months a lot has changed with all of us having to rapidly adapt our ways of working, and asked them for advice and insights into what newcomer job seekers could do to find opportunities in the current scenario. The panelists assured the participants that while it may be hard to find opportunities during the pandemic, they could use this time to brush their skills and think of creative ways to get noticed.
We also discussed the top skills that job seekers should work on – digital literacy was naturally among the top skills needed in any job today since all our work has now moved online.
The other qualities that job seekers should focus on are flexibility, enthusiasm and the willingness to learn and listen, according to the panelists.
“Thank you very much for organizing this discussion. I really appreciate the valuable tips and useful resources,” said Merry Subrata, an internationally trained language teacher.
The panelists, most of whom were newcomers to Canada at some point in their lives, also shared personal stories and anecdotes about their own journeys, first as immigrants and now as public servants. They elaborated on the path they took to reach where they are today.
“It was great to hear perspectives from the panelists and also get motivation during an otherwise difficult time to be job searching,” said Trinish Padayachee, a Policy Advisor by profession who is currently seeking opportunities in the Federal Government in Canada.
The conversation also focused on how newcomers could prepare themselves for finding work in the government, and the Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program was discussed as a great way to get a foot in the door.
“Thanks for the great session; it was very informative and very inspiring to hear everyone’s stories and to get some answers regarding the FIN program,” said Meenakshi Chidambaram, an internationally trained textile designer.
Our heartfelt appreciation for our amazing panelists for their time and support. We really enjoyed meeting, hearing and exchanging ideas with them virtually. And a shoutout to our newcomer clients who continue to push against every challenge in order to build their lives and careers in Canada.