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York University offers bridging program for internationally educated HR professionals

A new York University bridging program is making it easier for internationally educated Human Resources professionals to find work in their field in Canada. 
The program will help participants fill in knowledge gaps and, perhaps more importantly, help them get overcome the frustrating Catch-22 so many newcomers face—needing Canadian experience to get a job in Canada. 
"Many of the students in our [bridging programs] have masters and PhDs from their home country. They're very educated and capable," says program manager Nora Priestly. "They'd likely be able to learn what they need on the job, but not having that Canadian experience is a big barrier."
In addition to helping immigrants get experience and connect with employers, the new HR program also provides students with language instruction and skill upgrades. But because the program is individually tailored to each student, every participants get only what he or she needs. 
"You don't need Accounting 101 when you were an accountant in your home country. But you may need some very specific accounting training as in taxes," says Priestly. "Our program—like many college and university bridging programs—is very holistic and geared to each individual student."
Priestly says that while most newcomers have a command of English, they often have difficulty with sector-specfic terminology. And it's exactly this more nuanced English education that bridging programs can provide. 
"They need business English," she says. "They need the lexicon of business language that they didn't have in their home country but need to get."
York only launched the program a few months ago, but already, says Priestly, the program is attracting interest. 
"We've got a handful of students in pre-qualifying and foundation courses now. We've been offering IT and business bridging programs for three years now and we're excited to have HR in the mix."
The bridging program, like others offered at York and throughout the province, is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
Writer: Katia Snukal 
Source: Nora Priestly, Program Manager, Human Resources Bridging Program, York University
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