Creating a Community of Innovators
At PointClickCare, we aim to transform the future of healthcare and foster innovation at every turn. For our employees, we provide opportunities to advance and evolve personally and professionally. In our community, we aim to do the same, which is why three years ago we embarked on a journey to help new immigrants who work in software engineering expand their knowledge and ensure they are set up for success in their future.
How we help
Many new immigrants face challenges finding work, especially meaningful work in their chosen field. Speaking with the Toronto Region Immigration Employment Counsel (TRIEC), we identified two common barriers affecting new immigrants. First, their resume doesn’t feature a Canadian education, and second, their experience doesn’t include a recognized North American organization. At PointClickCare, we are uniquely positioned to help and we sought out to create a course that would provide the requirements needed to help these individuals find meaningful employment.
When creating the program, we knew we needed to target the group we wanted to help. To apply for the course, participants needed to meet 3 requirements. First, they must be a new immigrant to Canada, second, they must be currently underemployed or unemployed, and third, they must already possess a foundation in programming.
Creating the course
For software engineers, it is important to continually update and evolve with the skills that are in demand, and right now, that’s iOS training. To get this project off the ground, Cindy Plunkett, Director, Learning Design and Development, in partnership with software engineers from our PEO team, created a full curriculum 12-week course with defined learning outcomes.
Additionally, our talent acquisition team provided workshops for the participants to help with the application and interview process. “From the start of the course, the students learn the skills they need to build their own app. The course does more than teach them how to do something, it creates a portfolio they can use to show a prospective employer what they’ve built take them through it in real-time.”
Partnering with University of Toronto
After we built the curriculum, we knew we needed to solve the second problem, which was an accredited Canadian secondary education. We decided to partner with the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies to provide that additional credibility to our course. Cindy mentions, “When we met with the University, they were really impressed with how we put everything into a structured format. They also mentioned it was a perfect time for them, as they were looking to ramp up more Corporate Social Responsibility programs. They decided to partner with us on the program and split it 50/50 to ensure that the program was free for participants, which was important to both of us.”
After much planning, we were able to launch the program in June 2022 with our first cohort, and we are proud to say that all nine participants graduated from the course. At the end of the 12 weeks, the graduates received a certificate of completion which is co-branded with University of Toronto Continuing Studies and PointClickCare. This allowed them to update their resume and LinkedIn profile, to show they a reputable Canadian University and a known technology company. Cindy also mentioned that “for PointClickCare, what it comes down to is providing the opportunity to those who need it. The participants are willing to put in the work and effort on their end, and we were happy to be able to provide access they needed to advance their skills and help provide a better future. We knew we could find a way to help and I am so glad we had the support of the organization in doing so.”
We are looking forward to continuing the program in the future and help provide more people with the skills and accreditation they need to find meaningful work.
November 25, 2022