Apr 25 2005

Investment in Enhanced Language Training Pays Off

Published by at April 25, 2005 8:50 pm under Foreign Language Instruction

As part of the Internationally Trained Workers Initiative, Citizenship and Immigration Canada is helping newcomers acquire the language skills they need to reach their full potential in the Canadian labour market, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Joe Volpe announced today.

“Language is one of the main barriers to integration into the workplace for many immigrants to Canada,” said Minister Volpe. “This investment will help engineers, trades people, doctors, nurses and workers in many other fields who received their training outside of Canada to find and keep good jobs that match the skills and experience they bring to Canada.”

While most newcomers have adequate conversational language skills upon arrival in Canada, many employers report gaps in the specialized workplace language skills and vocabulary that are required in many trades and professions. The Enhanced Language Training (ELT) initiative will provide job-specific language training to enable immigrants to gain the language skills they need to flourish in the workplace.

“I am pleased to report the progress we have made to date on this important initiative and share with you the list of projects that have been implemented across the country in 2004–2005,” added the Minister. “This would not have been possible without the successful partnership we established with Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and British Columbia on the delivery of ELT projects in these provinces.”

The government currently spends about $140 million a year on basic language training for about 50,000 adult immigrants outside of Quebec. The Enhanced Language Training initiative accounts for an additional $20 million annually, and provides bridge-to-work assistance, including mentoring, work placement and other assistance in accessing the labour market.

The ELT initiative is an important component of the Government of Canada’s efforts to attract highly skilled workers and ensure more successful integration of immigrants into the economy and communities. Other measures include working with regulatory bodies and sector councils to facilitate the development of effective processes for the recognition of foreign credentials and prior work experience, and the development of the Going to Canada Immigration Portal to provide better information to immigrants before they come to Canada.

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