Immigrants with international training and qualifications are to get more help finding jobs that match their skills and experience.
Ontario has announced a $3.35 million investment in its provincial Bridge Training Program, designed to assist newcomers in navigating the employment market.
Often immigrants report having to do lower-paid `fill-in` jobs – for months and sometimes years – when they first arrive in Canada.
The Ontario Bridge Training Program (OBTP) is trying to change this, by bringing together immigrants and employers and highlighting transferable skills and qualifications.
Under the Express Entry system, candidates can subject their foreign-obtained qualifications to an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), which gives an indication of the level attained in Canadian terms.
The ECA tends to work in support of an immigration application, but does not mean individual employers will recognize qualifications in the same way. OBTP attempts to navigate this divide.
Aims of the Ontario Bridge Training Program
- Improve access to job finding services by, for example, career mentoring, employment events, language skills-training and a micro-loan program.
- Help employers recruit, hire and retain internationally trained immigrants, with networking events, an online recruiting service and employer workshops.
- Identify newcomers’ transferrable skills and alternate career pathways through, for example, mentoring events and the promotion of entrepreneurship.
Ontario provincial government statistic show 6,000 immigrants a year are helped under OBTP, which recognizes the benefit to the economy of getting newcomers into the workforce as soon as possible.
Professions including nursing, medical technology and the skilled trades are among those subject to OBTP projects.
A key area of the program is giving training and support to immigrants with experience in more regulated professions that can be difficult to access.
The program also helps employers with the hiring an integration of newcomers, working to breakdown barriers that can exist between businesses and immigrants.
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