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New PR program draws immigrants

January 18, 2012
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By Scott McLean

A new public relations certificate program at Simon Fraser University is opening employment doors for recent Canadian immigrants.

Designed by SFU Continuing Studies' Leadership and Community Building Programs specifically for newcomers, the 14-week program couples hands-on instruction from Canadian public relations experts with advanced English training and Canadian workplace skills development.

The program is free for qualified applicants under a labour market agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia, and features a three-week, full-time practicum at a Vancouver-based organization.

“When assessing what programs we could offer under the Province’s employment skills access program, we looked at existing programs that were available. The Public Relations Certificate has been such an incredibly successful program, but wasn’t connecting with a large audience in terms of new immigrants,” says Shanthi Besso, the SFU program coordinator.

“New immigrants are especially suited for the public relations field,” Besso adds. “They are able to bridge communities, cultures, countries and languages, but are just missing a skills gap in terms of their English language ability. What is really exciting is that people have been getting work immediately out of our PR certificate program.”

Advanced English courses offered by the program range from Communicating at Work to Introduction to Sociocultural Issues in Canada, while public relations courses run the gamut from Media Relations and Social Networking to Freelance Business Basics. Classes begin on February 27, 2012, while the application deadline is January 27, 2012.

For more information on the Public Relations Certificate with advanced English training, please contact 778.782.7925 or cep_info@sfu.ca.

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