Training: More Bridges for Newcomers

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By Claudio Munoz

Bridge programs are one of the most successful initiatives for immigrants who want to resume their careers in Ontario. They provide, among many other things, professional and language training and insight into the Canadian labour market. Immigrants who enrol in these programs are able to improve their professional network, learn about Ontario’s regulations, and sync their skills and experience with Ontario’s businesses’ demands.

It doesn’t take long for graduates of these programs to get a rewarding job.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) currently funds 15 such programs in Ontario having invested $3,390,234 in 2009/2010 and a further $3,013,025 in 2010/2011.

“Bridge to work programs give internationally trained professionals the necessary tools, language skills, work experience and mentorship to integrate into the Canadian workplace,” said Minister Jason Kenney. “This will help newcomers compete and ultimately succeed in the Canadian job market.”

The Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI) also funds bridge programs. Additional ones were announced a couple of months ago–in areas such as health care, information technology, engineering, agrology (agriculture), financial services, and land surveying.

“Many of our skilled newcomers need to cross an important bridge, a bridge between aspirations and achievements,” Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, said. “It is the bridge to help highly skilled newcomers find jobs in their areas of expertise. Since 2003, the government of Ontario has provided approximately 145 million dollars in nearly 200 bridge training programs. So far, these programs have helped more than 35,000 newcomers in Ontario get the skills training they needed to find employment in their field.”

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