ASCEND (Applied Skills Curriculum to Empower Newcomer Development) is a labour-market responsive training program currently being developed by IEC-BC. ASCEND will be administered by immigrant facing organizations in the Lower Mainland prior to province-wide distribution.
The program will provide skilled immigrants with a standardized educational curriculum to bridge challenges and gaps that often hinder employment readiness and workplace integration.
To develop ASCEND, IEC-BC is working with BC employers to identify challenges in skilled immigrant recruitment and integration. Using a province-wide survey with over 80 unique employer respondents, multiple focus groups, literature reviews, and interviews with cross-industry employers, IEC-BC identified communication and interpersonal skills and cultural and personal awareness as core gaps in the skillsets of immigrant talent.
To help bridge these gaps, ASCEND will integrate real-life scenarios into an innovative and interactive e-learning and face-to-face training program that will guide skilled immigrant participants through an ‘employment journey.’ ASCEND will offer skill building support along each step in the employment process, from arrival and job research to career development and promotion.