When Oladayo* first arrived in Canada he looked forward to getting settled and establishing a career in IT. He had 10 years’ experience as a computer repair technician in Nigeria, and was proficient in creating and maintaining computer networks. He also had a Bachelor of Education degree.

Though Oladayo saw Canada as a land of opportunity, he knew he’d have to overcome obstacles on his journey. So he didn’t lose hope when he was unable to find work, and enthusiastically accepted his caseworker’s suggestion to participate in the “Next Steps for Newcomers” program.

The 5-week workshop series is targeted to unemployed and underemployed newcomers who’ve been in Canada less than two years, and includes lessons in resume building, job searches and networking, as well as tips on overcoming barriers to success.

After completing the workshops, Oladayo interviewed for and got a short-term, unpaid placement through the Job Incentive Program, working as a computer tutor at a Toronto Employment and Social Services location. This in turn led to a paid position with a community agency as part of the City of Toronto’s Investing in Neighbourhoods program.

Earning a living in his first Canadian job boosted Oladayo’s hope and helped him see the possibilities for his future. He went on to pursue further education and training in IT, and today has a job with a large digital document company.

* Name changed to protect privacy.