Over the years, Humber has provided education, training, job search support, and career advice to more than 5,000 internationally trained professionals through Bridging Programs, helping newcomers restart their careers in Canada in their fields of expertise.
Taking the next step to enhance professional development, Community Outreach and Workforce Development (COWD) recently hosted an event at the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation (Barrett CTI) welcoming bridging program alumni to share their success stories, re-engage with fellow alumni and expand their professional skills and connections.
Graduates of the engineering, IT and supply chain bridging programs were encouraged to network, attend workshops, and participate in an alumni panel discussion about professional development and digital transformation. The Humber alumni also learned how Humber can continue to be an asset in their professional growth.
“It is this hard work and tenacity to succeed that is what makes newcomers such an asset to Canada. Most Canadians recognize immigration is a net benefit to Canada,” Geraldine Babcock, director of COWD.
Babcock shared how the alumni are prime examples of those who add value to the workplace and communities and shared, “it is the global experience and education that you bring with you that supports Canada’s global competitiveness.”
Robert Wood was one of five workshop facilitators and spoke to guests about artificial intelligence and the IT skills that will be in demand for the future. Echoing what Babcock said about advancing skills and professional development, the area solutions architect of Microsoft spoke about emerging job roles and what the technical fields will look like in the future.
“There is a shift in the job landscape and immigration is important in Canada in order to move forward,” says Wood. “People are not staying in the same place for a long time anymore; people are looking for change and have plans about what they want to do and who they want to work for.”
Many of the emerging job roles Wood mentioned are successful programs at Humber that implement work-integrated learning in the Barrett CTI and the industry. This includes skills in robotics, mechatronics, data analytics, and innovation. Humber is transforming learning by creating opportunities to converge the expertise of industry, community, and education to find innovative solutions to real-world problems.
The evening explored how skills and technology are changing and how Humber can help industry partners take the next step in applied research. The event’s keynote speaker, Gerardo Amaya, executive digital advisor at Microsoft, expressed that companies cannot address the digital transformation alone. His presentation focused on developing a workforce that is ‘Future-Ready’ – as citizens, collaborators, creators and innovators.
“Through partnerships and collaborations, we should be transformative together. The skills gap closes this way and allows us to be active in how we take digital transformation forward,” says Amaya.
Humber continues to support professional progress long after bridging participants have graduated. The College is continuing to find new ways to close the skills gap and ensure that internationally-trained professionals transition into becoming successful and contributing members in our workplaces and communities.
Babcock invites Humber’s alumni to consider how the success of their organizations can grow with the support of Humber’s Barrett CTI. Further, she challenged the gathered alumni to give back by mentoring and sharing industry insights with current and future bridging students.
Visit the Bridging Programs website to learn about student success stories and more.