YMCA SPELL Program
SHANNEX NOVA SCOTIA
Arnold Francisco is an internationally educated nurse working as a Continuing Care Assistant at Parkstone Enhanced Care in Halifax, N.S. To be recognized as a registered nurse in Canada, he must meet all registration and licensure requirements, which included a language component.
“Before moving to Canada, I worked in Singapore for six years in a dementia unit,” says Arnold. “I came here as an international student and studied Palliative Care Nursing at Niagara College in Ontario; after the program, I moved to Halifax seeking full-time employment and was hired by Shannex.”
In June, Arnold took part in the YMCA’s 20-week pilot program known as the Sector Partnerships for Enhanced Language Learning. This course helps address work shortages and enhance employment skills in the health care sector by supporting new immigrants with targeted language services.
In April 2021, the YMCA teamed up with Shannex as an initial partner in the pilot; this involved identifying needs and logistics, curriculum design, regular consultative meetings, scheduling team members for lessons and project evaluation.
“It’s been a great partnership,” says YMCA Newcomer Settlement Coordinator, InHae Park. “Both organizations have the common goal of supporting newcomer employees to be successful in the workplace and get the support they need.”
Arnold believes this program has been valuable. “I am so grateful that I was able to participate,” says Arnold. “It has helped me communicate better with my supervisors and residents and helped prepare me to write my licensing exam.”
The project is funded by the Nova Scotia government department of Labour Skills and Immigration and runs until March 31, 2022.
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