Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Laura Albanese at the announcement of 11 new bridging programs for immigrants.
The Province of Ontario is investing $3.35 million over two years through the Ontario Bridge Training Program to help internationally trained professionals find jobs that match their skills and experience.
The investment will support 11 new bridge training projects that will improve access to career assistance services for internationally trained immigrants, for example career mentoring, employment events, language skills-training and a micro-loan program.
Every year, Ontario’s Bridge Training Program helps more than 6,000 internationally trained professionals, in more than 100 professions including such as nursing, medical technology and the skilled trades, get the help they need to find jobs that match their skills and experience. The program also works with employers to develop resources to help them hire, retain and integrate internationally trained immigrants into the workplace.
“Ontario’s Bridge Training projects are making a real difference,” says Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Laura Albanese. “By helping internationally trained newcomers get work in their fields, bridge training projects support our globally connected economy and change people’s lives. This investment will strengthen our communities and help immigrants and their families build better lives in Ontario.”
President of Seneca College David Agnew says, “We’re delighted with the government’s further investment in the Ontario Bridge Training Program. We see first-hand how these opportunities for our internationally-trained newcomers make a difference in their lives and the positive effects they have on the community. Working in partnership with business and industry, we’re preparing our students to be career-ready and to contribute to a strong Ontario.” Seneca College is one of several organizations offering the new bridge programs, as well as ACCES Employment, Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), and Ryerson University. See the list of new programs below.
New Bridge Training Projects in Ontario
Eleven new Bridge Training projects are receiving $3.35 million over two years to help highly skilled immigrants put their skills and experience to work in Ontario:
Speed Mentoring™ en Français — offered by ACCES Employment
Delivered by ACCES in partnership with Collège Boréal, Speed Mentoring en Français is a pan-Ontario initiative that offers bilingual new Canadians an opportunity to meet face-to-face with professionals in their industry. Speed mentoring events include a minimum of five mentors and 10 mentees who meet one-to-one for 10 minutes at a time. They discuss networking strategies, business communication practices and interview skills. Each event ends with an open-room networking session where relationship-building opportunities continue, ensuring that participants leave with an expanded network.
CASIP Employment Services Network (ESN) — offered by ACCES Employment. CASIP ESN is a collaborative initiative of Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) and the Consortium of Agencies Serving Internationally trained Persons (CASIP)’s 11 member agencies who deliver services to 70,000 skilled newcomers per year. Through a coordinated approach, employers working with any member organization can tap into a broader pool of qualified newcomers from across CASIP, TRIEC and community partners. Along with employer outreach and capacity building activities, ESN supports employment events for newcomers and a job sharing website.
Immigrant Access Fund: Micro Loans for Bridge Training — offered by Immigrant Access Fund of Canada Inc.
Immigrant Access Fund Canada addresses financial barriers by providing low-interest micro loans of up to $10,000 to immigrants who lack the funds to pay for the Canadian licensing or training they need to work in their field. Their mandate is to build its capacity to facilitate quality employment for thousands of newcomers each year.
Emplois Spécialisés en Soutien à l’Ontario Rural (ESSOR) — offered by La Cité collégiale
This project prepares internationally educated Francophone professionals with previous training and/or experience in agrology and agri-food sectors for employment in rural Ontario. In addition to technical courses in agri-food, animal health and nutrition, ESSOR offers occupation-specific language training, prior learning assessments, job search support, Canadian culture and workplace training, and mentoring and workplace internships.
RAISE – Resource Awareness About ITPs for Small/medium Employers — offered by the Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects (ONESTEP). RAISE helps connect internationally educated professionals with small and medium enterprises in smaller communities by helping employers access information and attract suitable candidates and by providing job-seekers with a province-wide system of employment services. This includes engaging employers with advice and resources to support the hiring, retention and integration of internationally trained persons. Sourcing appropriate candidates will help break down barriers immigrants face in accessing the labour market, while assuring employers of the skills and cultural competencies they need for innovation, growth and effective competition in the global economy.
Communicating for Success and Understanding Workplace Culture — offered by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE)
OSPE will develop a communications and workplace culture course for internationally trained engineers, The curriculum will provide newcomers with non-technical communication skills, which employers have identified as very important in the hiring process. The project will also work with the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) to ensure internationally trained engineering professionals meet the English language proficiency requirements for certification. This project will increase access to the engineering profession and increase employment retention of internationally trained engineers.
Industry Leads: Employer Engagement on Immigrant Employment — offered by Ryerson University
This project aims to develop a one-stop online platform for employers and job seekers that will assist employers to recruit, hire and retain internationally trained immigrants. The project will provide employers with a reliable pool of job-ready candidates to meet employers’ labour force needs for high-skilled workers. The project will also develop new tools and resources based on the employer needs identified through the project, and a series of webinars for employers that focus on the challenges in hiring high-skilled immigrants.
The Ryerson University – Entrepreneurial Entrepreneurship — offered by Ryerson University
This project will conduct research into how best to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice for skilled, internationally trained immigrations in Ontario. The project will also examine what resources and tools are required to best support skilled, internationally trained immigrants who choose entrepreneurship as a viable career path.
Bridging Newcomers to Related and Alternate Careers in Engineering and Natural Sciences — offered by Seneca College – Newnham Campus
Seneca College’s new project, Bridging Newcomers to Related and Alternate Careers in Engineering and Natural Sciences, will build on Seneca’s current bridging programs by linking the needs of employers and Internationally Educated Professionals with a background in engineering and natural science. The College helps people with backgrounds in engineering and the natural sciences who are seeking licensure or employment in mandatory regulated occupations, or in high skilled non-regulated occupations, find jobs in the green or environmental sector.
Employer Engagement – Strategies for Integration and Retention — offered by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) project will engage employers in the engineering/environmental sector to provide input into the development of tools and training that will help them to hire, integrate and retain internationally trained professionals. The project will develop workshops, online modules and tools/resources to help employers understand and address considerations related to recruitment and retention of internationally trained professionals. Employers will benefit from having a direct role in informing and then accessing the tools and training developed.
360° View of Culture and Communication – A Curriculum Framework — offered by Touchstone Institute
The purpose of the project is to identify and map all the competencies involved in workplace culture and communications to help create an environment where immigrants can succeed. Once the competencies, such as collaboration, have been mapped, groups working with immigrants can use this mapping to develop tools to assess an immigrant’s workplace culture and communications competencies, or to develop curriculum that addresses specific competencies and builds skills.