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Ontario will invest $14 million into programs that will help foreign-trained professionals

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Ontario’s Immigration minister Mike Colle says the “career bridging” program will benefit more than 3,000 newly-landed Canadian immigrants.

The money is set to be invested into 24 “bridge training” programs that will directly help thousands of foreign-skilled professionals in regulated and unregulated professions over the course of three years. “These programs are the most pragmatic and tangible way to help Newcomers achieve their career goals [in Canada],” explained Colle. “When they get the license, they get the job.”

Career bridging programs have proven to be a cost-effective means to help new immigrants establish their footing in the Canadian job market. The programs aid by providing the necessary skills that has the foreign-trained professional meet Canadian standards in professional, linguistic, and cultural knowledge. Ontario is home to over 120,000 new immigrants every year.

C$335,700 will go exclusively to providing assessment, education, and skills training to immigrants with relevant previous experience in construction. George Brown College will receive C$341,300 to offer a graduate certificate program in construction management. Colle expressed his desire to do a better job of matching immigrants’ skills with Ontario’s need for trained construction workers.

The new money will address the needs of two of the largest immigrant contingents: teachers and engineers. The Ontario College of Teachers will receive C$666,000 to provide 307 teachers with support for obtaining credentials. More than C$1.5 million will go to 7,000 foreign-trained engineers arriving in Ontario every year in order to upgrade their skills to Canadian standards.

Immigrants who possess the necessary experience in food and agriculture inspection can register in a new training program to obtain a professional agrologist designation. Health professionals will receive C$4.1 million to fund programs for respiratory therapists, anaesthesia assistants, cardiac diagnosticians, hospital administrators, midwives, nurses, and physiotherapists.