Transitioning to a new life

Each year, about 1,200 new Canadians arrive in the Thompson-Okanagan, immigrating to Canada from around the world

Each year, about 1,200 new Canadians arrive in the Thompson-Okanagan, immigrating to Canada from around the world.

Many of these new imigrants are in their 30s and 40s and are bringing with them univeristy and college degrees, — along with experience — in a variety of fields.

But putting those degrees to use is another matter.

When Pinky Bata moved to Penticton last fall, she joined a growing wave of young professionals bringing their skills and experience to the South Okanagan.

In South Africa, Bata was an international relations specialist and senior strategist, working for the Office of the Premier. Her Masters degree in tourism and postgraduate qualification in international communications are not yet recognized in Canada.

Bata turned to South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services for help, and with their support has received Canadian accreditation for her undergraduate degree, allowing her to look for ways to put it to use and contribute to her new community.

“SOICS assessed my skills, provided preemployment coaching and assisted me with the fees and paperwork to make sure my undergraduate degree is recognized here,” Bata said. “They also introduced me to a network of people and organizations that increased my connection to the community and supported my job search.”

Bata’s help came through the Skills Connect program, specfically targeted at helping skilled immigrants get employment that maximizes their qualifications and experience.

The program provides career counseling, funding, and hands-on work experience through mentoring and other innovative approaches.

“I know from my own experience how challenging it can be to move to a new country where you don’t understand the culture,” said Tahira Saeed, SOICS program manager. “We welcome new immigrants to the South Okanagan and provide the professional services they need to reach their full potential.”

SOICS offers a variety of services to new Canadians from offices in Oliver and Penticton: instruction in English, help paperwork and job preperation along with support for professionals transitioning their education and qualifications to Canada.

For Bata, it was the start of an ongoing relationship.

“It’s a partnership I will sustain even when I’m working. The staff there made me feel at home,” said Bata.


Just Posted

New trial date set in Penticton for Thomas Kruger-Allen’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Scales of Justice
Acquittal in Okanagan crash that killed vacationing dentist

Daerio Romeo, 29, was charged with dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Penticton to get outdoor ice rink this winter

It’s hoped the rink will be ready to host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

The fate of Skaha Marina and its operations will be decided Saturday, June 19 on general election day. (File photo)
Penticton city hosted last forum before voters decide on fate of Skaha Marina

Residents share concerns about length of operations agreement, parking and control of park

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Orange ribbons are tied to the fence outside Vernon’s Gateway Homeless Shelter on 33rd Street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
POLL: Low-key Canada Day in the works for Vernon

Councillor calling for Indigenous recognition for 2022

A conceptual design of Vernon’s new Active Living Centre, which will go to referendum Oct. 15, 2022. (Rendering)
Active living centre 2022 referendum planned in Vernon

City hoping to get Coldstream and Areas B and C back on board

Closure of the 2900 block of 30th Avenue will allow restaurants and other businesses to extend their patios onto the street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Green light given to downtown Vernon road closure

Single block of 30th Avenue to close over summer months to boost business

Graduating Grade 12 student Savannah Lamb has been awarded an approximate $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries foundation. (Contributed)
Dedicated Salmon Arm student earns scholarship to pursue post-secondary education

Savannah Lamb is graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary with a $40,000 scholarship

A provided photo of the suspect. (Kelowna RCMP/Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP investigating after business robbed

An undisclosed amount of money and merchandise were taken from the business

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Most Read