Imam: Open To Big Changes

Imam knew he needed resources and tools to help him find work in Canada.

ImanImam Ates came to Canada with his wife, child, and mother-in-law, as part of the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel measures that provides support to Ukrainians and allows them to work, study, and stay in Canada until it is safe for them to return home.

When immigrants and refugees first arrive in B.C., they need to finding housing, schools for their kids, and employment. WorkBC Centres provide Employment Services for Displaced Ukrainian Nationals to help them find work to support their families.

WorkBC Centre Courtenay connected Imam to an Employment Counsellor who helped him navigate his search for work. His Employment Counsellor supported him as he considered job options, guided him through resume writing, and coached him through job interview questions and responses.

Imam was passionate about food and recalled his younger years as a cook specializing in Middle Eastern cuisine. He remembered those days with fondness and decided that he could have a rewarding career as a cook in Canada.

Imam’s Employment Coach reached out to a local restaurant to find out whether they had any job openings. The timing was perfect as the restaurant was short staffed and Imam was invited the very next day for a job interview. He was a good fit, and the restaurant immediately scheduled him to start the next week. Before he could begin working with food, he needed to complete a food safety course. WorkBC provided funding for the course and held the class on site for easy access.

Local bus transportation in the region can be challenging when one works shiftwork so after discussions with his Employment Coach, Imam quickly connected with local Ukrainian community sponsors and got himself a bicycle for his 10-minute commute to work.

In no time he gained new cuisine skills and learned all the aspects of running the business and the kitchen. He enjoys the camaraderie of the restaurant team and how the staff all work together to ensure the kitchen operations flow smoothly.

Despite all the challenges he faced since he fled Ukraine with his family, Imam maintained a positive ‘can do’ attitude and leapt over every hurdle. He continues to connect with WorkBC and is looking to acquire a laptop computer and a part-time job so he can provide his family with a car and a better place to live.

Imam is looking forward to many more years at his new job, gaining more experience, honing his abilities, and supporting his family. Imam remains positive and open minded about his future in Canada. When asked what his favorite new food is, the indisputable winner was maple syrup!

WorkBC Centres are here for you! With 102 storefront locations and virtual service options, job seekers can get help preparing for their first job or their next: