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August 15, 2013

Making Experience Count for New Canadians

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SAIT Polytechnic has teamed up with the Centre for Newcomers to help immigrants with backgrounds in accounting bridge the gap between the career they left behind in their home country, and their new life built in Canada.

The Business Communication for Accountants (BCA) program is the only one of its kind in Alberta — offering language, computer and job readiness training, work experience, and 12 weeks of accounting courses through SAIT.

Rahrel Gul, who moved to Canada from Pakistan with his wife and three children last March, has high expectations for what the program will do for his career.

"It will bridge my international experience to a Canadian market," says Gul, who worked as an accountant in Pakistan. "The SAIT classes will help, especially the taxation course. Every country has its own taxation system that you must learn as an accountant."

Debra Grab, Earned Revenue Coordinator in the School of Business says the three intermediate accounting courses, taught onsite at the Centre for Newcomers, are recognized by the Certified General Accountants association, and can be used towards the completion of an accounting certificate, diploma or degree.

"These are not beginner courses," says Grab. "The people in the program are highly educated — many have master’s degrees, or five and 10 years of experience as accountants."

In order to qualify for the program, which is subsidized by the government through the Centre for Newcomers, applicants have to meet certain language and educational requirements, and pass a selection exam provided by SAIT’s School of Business.

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