It took a 10,000-km trip for Naser Qudaimat to move to Canada from the Middle East, and it took Occupation-specific Language Training (OSLT) to help him bridge the communication gap to restart his career.

Up until last summer, Qudaimat, who was born in Jordan, was living with his wife and two young daughters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where he worked as an export sales manager for an office furniture company. However, as a non-resident of the country, he was uncertain of his long-term employment prospects, so he and his wife chose to immigrate to Canada.

“I knew for the future and for my kids that we would find a better community and life in Canada,” says Qudaimat, 42.

Arriving last July, the family settled in Hamilton, and soon after, Qudaimat began taking English language classes at the local YMCA, which is where he saw a flyer for the OSLT course, Workplace Communication Skills for Business.

Starting in the course last September at Mohawk College, Qudaimat learned how to communicate in business workplaces, including interacting with others in person, by phone and by e-mail; making workplace presentations; networking, and performing in job interviews. Classroom learning included role-playing workplace communication scenarios, and gaining insights from business professionals invited as guest speakers.

While participating in the OSLT course, Quadaimat was also busy trying to restart his career. He applied to hundreds of positions in retail furniture sales and took part in multiple job interviews.

“Because of the course, I was a lot more confident in myself during job interviews. I felt I could answer any question, because I learned how to be more professional,” Qudaimat says.

Qudaimat’s employment breakthrough came last November, when his OSLT instructor connected him with a recent graduate of Workplace Communication Skills for Business who worked at the Brick in Hamilton. Last November, within four months of arriving in Canada, he was hired as a salesperson at the store.

“This course has 100% helped me find a job and changed my whole life,” says Qudaimat, who graduated from the course in March. “Before newcomers try to apply for a job, they should take this course, because it will mean a lot when they talk to employers.”

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