Posted on February 21, 2023

Accounting program connects students with employers

VCC administrative accounting program student-2023

In February 2023, the VCC Partnership Development Office welcomed 22 students to their second cohort of the Administrative Accounting and Bookkeeping 2.0 (AAAB 2.0) program.

This short-term, tuition-free program provides responsive workforce training that allows students to rapidly upskill, creating pathways to employment in high-demand roles. In the program, students participate in 18 weeks of cohort-based learning which is followed by a four-week work experience with a local employer.   

Many of the AAAB 2.0 program participants are immigrants or newcomers to Canada with multiple barriers to employment, such as lack of recognized training/certification, relevant work experience, and limited-to-no access to professional networks within the labour market.  This program plays a vital role in helping these diverse participants overcome their employment barriers to secure sustainable employment. It also helps develop pathways for further education and career development. 

Sunantha Brumelle is a graduate of VCC’s first cohort of the AAAB program. As a newcomer to Canada, she left behind a 15-year career in accounting and finance in Thailand. In her previous role, she had worked her way up to being a senior finance manager for a large international outsourcing and technology services company. Coming to Canada, she found it challenging to find work in accounting again.   

Sunantha faced several barriers to finding work in her previous field. First, she did not have Canadian certification or an accounting designation. She did not have the professional network or connections necessary to find good employment opportunities. And without sustainable work, she could not afford childcare for her young child. This lead Sunantha to enroll in the first offering of the AAAB program.   

Sunantha says, “The AAAB program truly understands me as a newcomer. The program provided me with the skills and work experience I needed to overcome the challenges that prevented me from finding sustainable work in Canada.”  

After completing the AAAB program, Sunantha quickly received a job offer for a junior accountant role at a corporate finance and securities law firm where she is still employed. This job offer came through the networking connections that she made through the AAAB program.   

Sunantha is looking forward to building her career in Canada. “I’m passionate about accounting,” she says. “I’m getting Canadian experience now and I’d like to get my CPA in the future.”   

Funding for this program was received through the Community Workforce Response Grant, provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement and the Province of British Columbia. 

Learn more about VCC's Administrative Accounting and Bookkeeping program.