Model 2: Navigating the Canadian Labour Market

Key components of the Navigating the Canadian Labour Market model


The Navigating the Canadian Labour Market model offers newcomer women who identify as visible minority support in the development of a clear career plan based on a thorough assessment of their skills and provides them opportunities to connect with potential employers. This model applies the essential skills framework developed by the Government of Canada.

Once participants have developed a structured skills portfolio and put together a career plan, they are offered access to essential skills training if skills upgrading is found necessary. The model also provides opportunities for connections with employers to help improve participants’ career adaptability and work around some of the challenges they face in entering the Canadian labour market. Contacts with employers provide participating women with an opportunity to learn about local labour market and workplace needs and to tap into the informal and hidden job market.


This model is suitable for newcomers who are ready or almost ready to work in Canada (i.e., women with postsecondary education[1] and an adequate level of fluency in English or French).


[1]This criterion is based on the positive results achieved by university-educated immigrant women in a similar pilot called The Foundation Workplace Skills Program.


The model consists of three main components:

1) The first component is in-class workshops for portfolio building and career development to help newcomer women develop career pathways and action plans that best fit their skills and needs. The objective is to provide a supportive environment where participants can:

  • Identify and document their technical skills and essential skills;
  • Identify skill requirements related to potential targeted occupations with reference to the Government of Canada’s “Essential skills profiles by occupation”;
  • Build a realistic career action plan based on the match between assessed skill levels and required occupational skill levels; and
  • Learn how to present their portfolio using the language of Canadian employers to communicate and engage with them effectively.


2) The second component is an essential skills enhancement training program. Ideally, the identified career pathways and action plan would require no further essential skills training for participants. For participants who do not need the training, they would move directly to the third component. But for those who could benefit from some upgrading of their essential skills, they would have the option to receive such training. Although the duration and length of the training will depend on the services offered by the training providers and the chosen career and needs of the participants, it is expected that a suitable career pathway should not require lengthy nor substantial skills upgrading. Thus, this component is intended to take between 2 and 10 weeks, depending on the learner’s needs.


3) The third component of the model provides ways for participants to connect with employers. The objective is to build participants’ professional networks and relationships with employers in their targeted sector to further their career goals. It introduces participants to effective ways to reach employers.


This model is currently being piloted by ISANS, ACCES Employment, Achēv, World Skills Employment Centre and YWCA Metro Vancouver.