Canada funds college to provide programs for immigrants

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An interesting development is taking place at an Ontario college -- people who have immigrated to Canada will now have the opportunity to get language training and post-secondary educational qualifications that will assist their integration into Canadian society.

While Canada is an extremely popular destination for migrants (almost 20 percent of the population was born abroad, the highest foreign-born population in 75 years), some individuals have a hard time finding work in their respective fields due to language barriers and lack of recognized qualifications.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been addressing this issue with funding to local areas of Canada through agreements with its provinces and territories.

The latest round of funding -- CAD $5.5 million -- will go towards language training and post-secondary education opportunities for local immigrants at Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. This will allow individuals a chance to get a qualification from a recognized Canadian educational institution.

People taking advantage of the new services will have access to career centers, as well as other areas that students of the college enjoy, such as the computer lab and library.

"Finding a job is one of the most significant challenges facing new immigrants to Canada," said Immigration Minister Diane Finley, who announced the funding.

"We want newcomers to succeed, and we want to help them find good jobs. Through this funding and the efforts of Sheridan College, newcomers will have the opportunity to develop the skills to find work in their fields. Their success is our success," she added.

Joyce Wayne, Director of the Sheridan Centre for Internationally Trained Individuals, said her organization could now respond to the needs of its local immigrants through programs designed specifically for people trained overseas.

"These programs will not only enhance the language capabilities of our immigrants, but will also offer our internationally trained students diplomas and certificates from a recognized college in Canada," Wayne said.