The majority of the focus of the RRLIP’s work is directed toward 4 key priorities that were identified by local research, community forums and feedback gathered from local community stakeholders as well as newcomers living in Regina themselves.
These consultations and research identified the following local priorities for increasing successful settlement and integration outcomes for newcomers to Regina:
Priority #1: Employment
Many newcomers are challenged with accessing and retaining suitable employment matching their skills, education and past experience. Newcomers often find themselves in entry level jobs, sometimes for many years, while holding significantly higher level credentials and experience. And once employed, a lack of cultural awareness and sensitivity between the immigrant employee and the workplace impacts retention.
Opportunities to gain practical experience and references through mentorship, bridging and other employment programs are key to successful labour market access and integration.
- The Economic Integration of Refugees in Canada: A Mixed Record? by Lori Wilkinson and Joseph Garcea April 2017. This report provides an overview of the key components and features of the Canadian refugee resettlement system, and examines available data on the labor-market integration and outcomes of refugees, including by resettlement pathway.
- The Upstream Economy - A Generational Dialogue for Transformative Change-#transformSask - 2017 Saskatchewan-sourced ideas based on consultation and discussion, with 45 calls to action in the areas of leadership, health, education, diversity and the economy
- Saskatchewan Small Business Profile 2017 -Government of Saskatchewan-Statistics and information on the large impact of small businesses on the economy of Saskatchewan in 2016.
Priority #2: Childcare
Access to affordable, suitable and culturally aware childcare is viewed as essential by newcomer parents, not only for their children, but for their own ability to gain and retain employment and education. Without it, many newcomer parents (often the female in the family) must remain at home and forego training until a childcare space becomes available or community supports are built up and/or family members move to Canada.
- Regina Child Care Centres -(registered and licensed by the Government of Saskatchewan) pdf list - updated regularly
- Regina Child Care - in homes(registered and licensed by the Government of Saskatchewan) pdf list - updated regularly
- Parents using either licensed services may be eligible for a Child Care Subsidy to help with child care fees.
- The Child Care Subsidy - download a government information page here
- Saskatchewan's Early Years Plan - 2016 - 2020
- Local Childcare Promising Practices (Newcomer Children and Families)
Priority #3: Education
Barriers to accessing educational opportunities exists for newcomers in Regina. Challenges such as wait times for English classes, lack of availability child care spaces, discrimination, funding issues, stress from all of the changes, feelings of isolation and lack of cultural supports present obstacles that are difficult to overcome.
The promotion and development of informal language learning opportunities plays a crucial role in helping to fill gaps when needed.
LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada)
In Regina, language assessment for all LINC programs is done at LARC (Language Assessment and Referral Centre)
100-2445 13th Avenue
Regina, SK, S4P 0W1
Telephone: 306-525-5272 (LARC)
Assessments will place language learners at a level on the Canadian Language Benchmarks scale. For more information on the CLB, click here
LINC is funded by the Government of Canada. Newcomer Permanent Residents (refugees and some immigrants are eligible for the language training - but once they become Canadian citizens, they are no longer eligible).
- To understand what skills are evident at each CLB level, click here for document
- To understand skills evident at CLB Literacy levels, click here
3 organizations provide LINC classes in Regina, at various CLB levels:
- Regina Open Door Society (RODS) (CLB Literacy to CLB 4)
- Sask Polytechnic (CLB 4 to CLB 8)
- Univeristy of Regina (CLB Literacy to CLB 4)
Stage 1 and 2 Language programs: Classes and Online
Stage 1 and 2 is funded by the Government of Saskatchewan, and is available in classes or online for eligible Canadian citizens and Temporary Workers. Language assessment for these programs is done at the Newcomer Welcome Centre (NWC) in Regina.
Newcomer Welcome Centre / Regina Open Door Society
1st floor - 2332 – 11th Avenue
Regina, SK S4P 0K1
Telephone: 306- 352-5775
Fax: (306) 352-5011
3 Organizations in Regina provide Stage 1 and 2 classes
Online English Stage 1 - 2
Online English Stage 1 - 2 is a free English language training program for eligible Canadian citizens and Temporary Workers who cannot attend regular classes. Students study online or by correspondence and work one-on-one with a TESL-certified instructor each week. The minimum entry benchmarks are CLB 3 for listening and speaking and CLB 2 for reading and writing.
Informal English Learning Opportunities (Conversation Circles and Group Tutoring Sessions)
In Regina, there are numerous opportunities to practise speaking English - at different times of the day, on different days, and in different parts of the city. Some are in librairies, others in churches, schools or other buildings. All are free.
Priority #4: Canadian Daily Living
Daily living in this community is often very different than in other areas around the world. As a result, many newcomers have a difficult time adjusting to life in Regina and understanding Canadian cultural expectations. Additionally, the challenges of daily life in a new country and community can contribute to mental health challenges including feelings of isolation and depression.
Community awareness, support and collaborations are key to improved adaptation outcomes for newcomers.