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Empowering Canada's Newcomers

New to Canada? Unlock Your Faster Path to Prosperity with Achēv

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Through Achēv, newcomers gain access to tailored programs and services that help them achieve goals and create faster paths to prosperity.

Despite being an internationally trained neurosurgeon, Dr. D experienced challenges in securing suitable employment when he moved from Pakistan to Canada. He seized the opportunity to obtain an educational loan through the Accelerating Career Advancement (ACA) program at Achēv. The loan enabled him to kickstart the licensing process, and in March 2024, he ecstatically contacted his Career and Training Counsellor at Achēv to share the joyful news of passing his final licensing exam.


Funded by the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Program under Employment and Social Development Canada, the ACA program, in partnership with Meridian Credit Union, provides low-interest, fixed-rate financial loans up to $30,000 and free career and financial counselling to internationally trained individuals who aspire to be accredited in their intended or alternate profession.

Breaking down barriers

The competitive fixed interest rate and the repayment terms of up to five years are a significant help for newcomer single parents like A.K., an internationally trained dietitian from India. Through the ACA program, A.K. was able to afford the required education to gain her Canadian dietitian license. “If you’re passionate about enrolling in the course of your dreams but are facing financial constraints, I highly recommend considering Achēv,” she says.

The ACA program helps participants build career action plans, complete credential evaluation applications, and develop resumes, cover letters, interview skills, and more. After hearing about the ACA program from her husband, S.O. decided to apply for an educational loan. As a behavioural therapist from Sudan, S.O. worked and volunteered tirelessly during her first six years in Canada. The awarded loan has enabled her to register and progress through her Behavioural and Addiction Worker Diploma and internship. She’s thrilled to have secured a role in which she can now thrive using her expertise and skill set.

“Achēv is so proud to have supported 306 internationally trained individuals with approximately $2.8 million worth of loans, and 65 per cent of these individuals have successfully completed their foreign credential recognition process in Canada,” says Ayesha Bhikha, Director of Career and Women’s Services at Achēv. “They’re now successfully employed in their intended profession.”

Chances to advance

Along with newcomer and employment services, Achēv also offers programs that focus on women, language, youth, and inclusion. One to note is RISE (Resilience, Independence, Support, and Empowerment), a program funded through the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services under the Investing in Women’s Futures program expansion. RISE provides support for self-identified women in the GTA who have been subjected to or are currently experiencing gender and intimate partner-based violence. Through confidential services and follow-ups, the program helps women cultivate safe, independent living situations. In its first year alone, RISE touched the lives of 198 women by co-creating safety plans with and for each of them. It led seven workshops on legal rights, provided occupational skills training to 55 women, and offered systems navigation support to 72 women. The program has empowered women to become economically stable and empowered, while also feeling physically and psychologically safe.

Achēv is also working to improve mental health services for clients on social assistance in the Region of Peel through the Wellness Response and Assistance Program. The program provides short-term mental health counselling, support, and overall wellness goal development with the support of a registered social worker.

These are just some of Achēv’s many comprehensive programs and services that provide access to resources and tools that help newcomers with discovering their fullest potential. For over 30 years, Achēv has been creating faster paths to prosperity and empowering clients and communities to thrive.

Register for the Accelerating Career Advancement program or visit Achēv’s website to access a range of newcomer programs, educational resources, counselling services, networking opportunities, and more.

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