Toronto, Canada – April 15, 2016 — The Language Lab (www.TheLanguageLab.ca), an industry-leading provider of business communications courses for both native English speakers and ESL clients worldwide, is weighing in on the challenges that new Syrian refugees face in Canada, when it comes to finding a job.
According to a CTV News report, the arrival of thousands of Syrian refugees has prompted the federal government to highlight the importance of English language training to help refugees find jobs. While many of the refugees have the right skills and academic credentials, they struggle with finding jobs because they lack proficiency with English. (Source: Newman, K., “Learning English, finding a job the next big challenges for Syrian refugees,” CTV News web site, March 18, 2016; http://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/learning-english-finding-a-job-the-next-big-challenges-for-syrian-refugees-1.2823017.)
“One of the biggest issues that refugees face, especially when English is not their first language, is they lack the Canadian experience,” says Dr. Sandra Folk, founder and president of The Language Lab. “They may have the right skill set for certain jobs, but without the necessary communication skills, they aren’t going to get hired for those jobs. This is the reason it’s very important for refugees to get the language training they need.”
Since financial support from the federal government only lasts for one year, refugees have to learn English and find a job, within that limited time frame. This deadline is quickly approaching for the first group of Syrian refugees, many of whom report that they are experiencing difficulty learning English, in the required time.
“Language training is key to success in the job market and the government is right to focus on it. It is difficult to learn effective communication in this limited time frame, especially without the right training” Dr. Folk explains.
“A person can pick up some language skills on her/his own, but a good language program teaches necessary oral and written communication skills. And these skills are essential for not only finding a job, but also for writing a resume, completing a job interview, and succeeding in our society.”
Refugee families report that they are experiencing difficulty even getting into language training programs. Unfortunately, there are lengthy waiting lists for many of the government-run programs. Some individuals even have to wait up to six months or more.
“The lack of government funding and availability of language training programs is definitely problematic,” Dr. Folk explains. “However, these programs need to do more than just teach the basics. They need to teach people how to communicate persuasively, in order to succeed in the Canadian job market. They also need to understand how Canadian society works.”
According to Dr. Folk, language training classes need to ensure that refugees learn about the Canadian culture so they are able to adjust both culturally and socially. Learning about Canadian culture and geography will give them a better understanding of what it means to be a Canadian.
As an industry leader in business communication, The Language Lab provides full 10-week online language courses for clients, worldwide. They specialize in improving both oral and written communication, for native English speakers and second language learners (ESL). Their courses strengthen people’s ability to achieve success with their business writing, e-mail writing, report writing, PowerPoint, and speeches, using Practice Over Time and One-to-One Personalized Feedback, from a live person.