Ahmed Elkhateb

Ahmed Elkhateb

Educated and integrated: an example of Canada’s success

Ahmed Elkhateb is like many immigrants to Canada: he achieved a university degree prior to arriving, is ready to put down permanent roots, and is eager to contribute to our country’s economic success.

In fact, Canada’s overall post-secondary graduation rate, the highest among countries registered within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, has a lot to do with people just like him.
Elkhateb’s challenges are his language skills and his knowledge of Canadian society.

“I believe I can start my career right now,” says the 46-year-old, who earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and banking administration from the University of Jordan, Amman. “But I am not completely fluent so I’ll work on that first.”

Elkhateb is a Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) student at NorQuest College. He wasted no time in registering for the training upon arriving in Canada in March of 2017, and is grateful for the opportunity – not only to enhance his English, but to learn more about what it means to be Canadian. LINC students at NorQuest are not just taught language, they are provided with tangible integration experiences.

A side component of the LINC program is a volunteer course. It offers specific, workforce-relevant programming to students with a higher level of education and a higher level of English wishing to learn in an authentic setting. Elkhateb was assigned to volunteer at Edmonton’s Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, where he spent his time interacting with the public, helping the centre with some of its accounting needs, and assisting fellow newcomers with their tax returns.

“I am a very lucky guy,” he says. “The LINC Volunteer Course is making me involved and seeing the Canadian environment. During that volunteer course, it was a good chance to meet people, to try and improve my language. Maybe sometimes it seems hard for me to reach my top level, but I keep going.”

Education that works

The NorQuest College research department has learned that many of our LINC students find work in the field of they were educated in prior to moving to Canada or move on to complete post-secondary certificate and diploma programs.

Key Findings*

  • Overall, NorQuest graduates earnings increase the longer they stay in the workforce.
  • The earnings of both certificate and diploma graduates trend generally upward the longer the graduates are in the workforce.
  • First year earnings of diploma graduates average $46,212.
*Based on NorQuest College-specific findings from the Government of Alberta’s Benefits to Post-Secondary Education Project.