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Job opportunities in Canada

Published:Tuesday | July 15, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Deidre S. Powell

 Dear Ms Powell,

I've been reading about job opportunities in Canada and so I decided to write you to see if I stand a chance. I have a diploma from The Mico Teachers College and I have been working in a day care as I haven't been able to get a job as a teacher. I heard that I may be able to find work in Canada. Can you tell me how to apply?

- BT

Dear BT,

As a part of Canada's immigration policy and economic action plan, the government reopened the Federal Skilled Worker Programme in May 2014 with a new list of eligible occupations. This list is based on research which reveals that Canada is experiencing a shortage of early childhood educators (ECEs) and early childhood assistants.

In order to qualify, you would need to have a minimum of one year of continuous, full-time (or an equal amount of part-time) paid relevant work experience within the past ten years as an early childhood educator or early childhood assistant. Then, you may be eligible to apply, under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, for you and your immediate family to become permanent residents of Canada.

Eligible workers

ECEs are also known as pre-school teachers, childcare workers, day care workers, childcare practitioners, home childcare consultants, nursery school teachers, childcare assistant supervisors, day care supervisors, childcare coordinators.

You will need a letter from your employer confirming that you are working in a registered childcare centre, day care centre, early childhood school, kindergarten or an agency/school for exceptional children. The key is that you provide education or care for pre-teens or work in any other setting where early childhood education services are provided.

If you are applying as a supervisor or coordinator, you will need to have a minimum of two years working experience in the field.

Basic eligibility to become an early childhood educator or assistant in Canada

Completion of secondary school;

Experience in childcare;

Completion of an early childhood education assistant certificate programme or post-secondary courses in early childhood education may be required;

Licensing by a provincial or territorial association for early childhood educators (ECEs) may be required.

The key to remember is that even though the educational requirement may seem easy to meet, you will need to be able to get a minimum of 67 points in order to qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme.

In your particular case, you indicate that you already have a diploma from Mico, so you should be able to reach the minimum requirement under the point system depending on other factors such as your age, whether or not you have other relatives here in Canada and language skills.

How do you apply?

You may visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website and download the required forms, complete the forms accurately, attach the supporting documents, pay the required fee and submit your application. You will also need to pass the medical and security checks.

You should note that even though Jamaica is an English-speaking country, you will be required to prove your language skills by doing the required English exam. You application will be returned if you do not send your English test results with your application.

Once your application is successful, you will be given a permanent resident card. This card is similar to the popular American green card. In essence, you would now be able to apply for a job to work anywhere in Canada, in an early childhood institution.

I must caution you that this is a time-sensitive application, as there is a cap on the number of applications that will be accepted. Also, when applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, it is essential for you to pay attention to the finer details of your applications. Incomplete or incorrect applications may be returned or refused. With so many people around the world focused on this programme, it is important for prospective immigrants to act quickly and efficiently to secure a place in the queue. If you have issues or concerns about your eligibility or need help with your application, consult with immigration lawyer.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, personal injury, commercial, family, real estate and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to: Subject line: Immigration. Tel: 613-695-8777. Follow her on Facebook: jamaicanlawyer