The University of Winnipeg



UWinnipeg Pilots Communication Coaching

A new initiative for internationally educated professionals

WINNIPEG, MB – The University of Winnipeg’s English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Program is piloting a new initiative, where Communication Coaches are dispatched to local companies to work intensively with foreign-trained skilled professionals in the areas of cultural competence, writing and oral communication. Currently the ESP pilot program is working with the engineering consulting firm Genivar and IT firm Greenridge, and the results have been positive.

Talented Source
Internationally educated professionals (IEP) are an important source of talent currently filling skilled labour shortages in many sectors, especially engineering and IT. Employers recognize that the technical expertise of IEP is often exceptional, yet the complex challenges of workplace culture and communication can be costly and time consuming.

Everybody Wins
“Through our language program for IEP we discovered that many who are already working in their field are struggling with day to day business correspondence and report writing”, said Paul Vieira, ESP Program Coordinator. “Senior managers often put aside their own work to edit the report writing of their foreign trained employees. To make work more efficient, the Communication Coach provides an invaluable service to the company and personalized language enhancement for the employees and everybody wins.”

“GENIVAR is excited by the opportunity to work with the Communication Coaching Pilot Program. We have an ever-growing number of internationally-educated engineering professionals,” said Bill Brant, Vice President, Manitoba Division GENIVAR. “Those who are involved are benefiting greatly from the program.”

Coaches spend two hours per week in workshops with a maximum of five employees needing to hone their communication skills at the workplace. The coach also gives each participant 1.5 hours of editing throughout the week, allowing individuals to submit their reports, memos, emails and other business correspondence for feedback. This helps the client improve their writing skills and makes their work more efficient. Communication Coaching is an effective and cost efficient solution to meet the needs of both IEP’s and companies in the engineering and IT industries. For more information on the pilot project, please visit or email Paul Vieira at

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