Canada assists immigrants in Ontario with language skills

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Funding has been announced for 11 organizations in the Canadian province of Ontario to help an estimated 1,800 internationally trained professionals improve their language skills.

The Canadian federal government will provide more than CAD $7.8 million and the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration will provide CAD $3.4 million to several agencies in Toronto that provide settlement services for immigrants.

The services include specialized language training, helping newcomers find work, and mentoring and internship placements for internationally trained people. The funding will go towards supporting services for foreign-trained individuals in specific fields such as health care, engineering, social work, architecture, and finance.

The federal government and Ontario's immigration department are co-funding 12 language training and employment programs being delivered at 11 different universities, colleges, and agencies in Toronto.

Organizations receiving funding include the CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses and the University of Toronto. The CARE Centre will provide courses aimed at teaching language skills useful for the nursing profession while the University of Toronto will invest the funding in a program designed to assist newcomers in finding employment in project management.

"Learning a new language is one of the most important challenges newcomers face when they arrive in Canada," said Immigration Minister Diane Finley. "The organizations we are funding today work with highly skilled professionals, teaching them the language skills they need to compete in the Canadian labour market."

"Our bridge training programs provide newcomerswith the tools they need to succeed here in Ontario," said Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Michael Chan. "Since 2003, Ontario has helped more than 20,000 newcomers bridge their international credentials and experience in Ontario."

Canada places great emphasis on skilled immigration to meet shortages in the Canadian labor market. Recent legislation was passed which will allow Canada to fast-track applicants who possess skills that Canada needs.