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Immigration Assessment



TORONTO, April 25, 2005 — 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.


For more information (media only):

Stephen Heckbert
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
(613) 954-1064

Maria Iadinardi
Media Relations
Communications Branch
(613) 952-0740


Enhanced Language Training (ELT) Funded Projects for Fiscal Year 2004–05 (by Province or Territory)

British Columbia

A program will be developed to test and evaluate employment-focused curriculum guidelines for adult immigrants studying mid-level English outside of urban areas. The program will be delivered through an array of service provider types, including not-for-profit agencies, school districts, public community and university colleges and private sector schools.

Bridging initiatives will be undertaken where language benchmarks will be established for selected industries. Industry-specific curriculum guidelines will also be developed to facilitate labour market entry for persons whose mother tongue is a language other than English. Existing benchmarks and curriculum guidelines developed by other jurisdictions will be validated for use within B.C. where possible.

A training kit will be developed to assist in benchmarking applied programs within the B.C. post-secondary institution system. The training kit will consist of a “how to” manual, documents and templates (including language samples), and two oral communication task demonstration videos or DVDs.


Bredin Institute
The Bredin Institute will provide an integrated English-language program for internationally trained pharmacists that includes classroom study, case management and support during the College of Pharmacists’ structured practical training. It will also help participants review and prepare for Part II of the qualifying exam.

Norquest College
Norquest College will deliver occupational language training in the workplace that meets the specific needs of professional employees who have been trained as engineers but who are unable to fully use their skills and knowledge.

Bow Valley College
Bow Valley College will offer a part-time language program for internationally trained counselling professionals through a combination of classroom instruction and supervised work terms.

Keyano College
Keyano College will provide occupation-specific English-language training to skilled immigrants in the Fort McMurray area. In addition to the language training, participants will undertake a project related to their field guided by an advisory group of employers and gain practical experience in the workplace. Upon completion, the participants will be prepared for employment in the oil sands industry.

Calgary Catholic Immigrant Society
The Calgary Catholic Immigrant Society will provide occupational language training that targets the needs of skilled trades people. The program will include job search and labour market preparation workshops and practical experience.

Brooks Community Adult Learning Centre
The Brooks Community Adult Learning Centre will provide language training, computer training, and mentorship or job shadowing specific to the career choice of the participant.

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)
The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology will provide a part-time language program and practicum to internationally trained teachers in an effort to increase their ability to obtain employment related to their qualifications.

Calgary Immigrant Educational Society
The Calgary Immigrant Educational Society will provide job-specific language training and a professional work practicum for immigrants with a verified professional degree, focusing primarily on the engineering, accounting and IT sectors.

Maple Leaf Academy
The Maple Leaf Academy will provide both full- and part-time language training, work placement and paid work opportunities with a focus on immigrants with a background in business/management, natural sciences, engineering or oil and gas.


Enhanced Language Training projects in Saskatchewan focus on four proposed priority sectors: health, trades, sales and service, and natural and applied sciences. A working group of program area experts has been assembled that will assess the language and employment needs of recent immigrants to Saskatchewan and identify the competencies and professional development needs required for the delivery of quality ELT services. This work will inform the development of a strategy to deliver ELT services in the province. The working group will also identify Saskatchewan employers’ views on recruiting and hiring immigrants, and providing language training and other workplace supports needed to facilitate workplace integration. Guides will be developed to help service providers deliver mentoring, job training and networking opportunities for immigrants.


Internationally Trained Teachers Initiative
The Internationally Trained Teachers Initiative will deliver part-time English communications classes for internationally trained teachers. It will also include instruction on adapting to a new culture, workshops with guest speakers on topics identified in curricula and coordination of mentorship and job-shadowing opportunities for participants. This initiative is being developed in partnership with the University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Education Centre.

Internationally Trained Doctors Initiative
The Internationally Trained Doctors Initiative enhances the occupation-specific communications skills of internationally trained physicians and other highly skilled health-care professionals through the “Canadian Communication for Physicians Trained Abroad” course. This initiative is being developed in partnership with Red River College and the University of Manitoba.

Red Seal Exam Preparation for Immigrant Hairdressers
This program will develop and deliver a study skills course for immigrant hairdressers preparing to write the Red Seal exam. Partners include Winnipeg Technical College and the Apprenticeship Branch.

Internationally Trained Engineers Initiative
The Internationally Trained Engineers Initiative will deliver specialized English-language programs for professional engineers that include a distance education component and on-line support for professional engineers. A Web site will be developed to enhance accessibility in rural areas. Funding will also support the Internationally Educated Engineers Qualifications (IEEQ) Pilot Program at the University of Manitoba.

Credit Union Member Service Representatives Program
The Credit Union Member Service Representatives Program will develop and deliver a “Communication and Culture for Member Service Representatives” course for immigrants employed at the Assiniboine, Cambrian, Steinbach, Portage and Astra credit unions.

Communications Course for Immigrant Accountants
The Certified General Accountants Association of Manitoba and Success Skills and Employment Projects of Winnipeg will research, develop, design and evaluate a communications course for immigrant accountants based on the new CGA communications course.

Internationally Trained Nurses Initiative
The Internationally Trained Nurses Initiative will offer a test preparation program for licensed practical nurses that includes classroom instruction for occupation-specific English-language instruction. Partners include the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba.

Employment Readiness and Job Finding
This program aims to help immigrant youth overcome barriers to entry into the labour market. It will provide career counselling, English-language instruction and programs to support and enhance the overall employability of immigrant youth. Partners include Fatima Soares and Associates, Manitoba Advanced Education and Training, Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth, and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

Child Care Workers
This program involves the development of an on-the-job competency-based assessment for immigrants with child-care backgrounds whose academic credentials do not match the required credentials for employment in the field. Occupation-specific orientation sessions and mentoring will also be offered. Partners include Manitoba Childcare Association and the Manitoba Child Daycare Office.

Call Centres Initiative
This initiative involves the development, planning and delivery of an advanced occupation-specific language-training program for customer service representatives. The program will address the specific communication needs of customer service representatives and prepare them to take the “Communication and Culture for Customer Service Representatives” course. Partners include Advanced Education and Training and the Manitoba Customer Contact Association.

Trucking Pilot for Experienced International Tractor Trailer Drivers
The pilot includes the development of criteria, an assessment questionnaire and a work plan for an industry-driven pilot program for immigrant truck drivers. Partners include Prairie Global Management, local commercial truck-driving companies, Advanced Education and Training, and the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce.


The Centre for Skills Development and Training
The Centre for Skills Development and Training will provide higher-level language training to help participants make the transition to the Job Shop or Career Explorations programs.

Mohawk College
Mohawk College will develop and deliver job-specific language training and facilitate appropriate job shadowing, mentors, work placements and internships.

Centre for Language Training and Assessment Inc.
The Centre for Language Training and Assessment Inc. will provide newcomers who have basic to intermediate language abilities with higher levels of English courses through flexible and user-friendly delivery methods. The Centre will also develop assessment tools to help place learners with higher levels of English-language proficiency in appropriate language-training programs.

Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre
The Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre will provide higher-level and job-specific language training for immigrants seeking employment in the business administration and management sector.

Peel Adult Learning Centre
The Peel Adult Learning Centre will develop and implement higher-level language training to help newcomers find employment commensurate with their skills and competencies.

Centre for Language Training and Assessment and Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks
The Centre for Language Training and Assessment and the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks will develop an on-line assessment tool to determine the language skills of immigrants seeking higher-level language training.

Halton Multicultural Council
The Halton Multicultural Centre will develop and deliver higher-level language training and job-specific language training for the office management and education sectors.

Algonquin College
Algonquin College will develop higher-level language training curricula in the following sectors: advanced technology, business, health care, construction trades and transportation.

Graybridge Malkam
Graybridge Malkam will provide job-specific language training for law enforcement.

George Brown College
George Brown College will develop and test higher-level language training curricula for immigrants pursuing information technology and microelectronic programs.

Toronto District School Board
The Toronto District School Board will provide higher-level language training to help immigrants make the transition to the Newcomer Opportunities for Work Experience (NOW) program.

University of Toronto
The University of Toronto will develop and test a higher-level language training curriculum for pharmacists.

Intercultural Neighbourhood Social Services
The Intercultural Neighbourhood Social Services will deliver occupation-specific language training with components of mentoring and work placements.

The Michener Institute of Applied Science
The Michener Institute of Applied Science will develop a standardized job-specific language assessment tool to accurately determine the language skill levels of internationally trained health technologists and therapists.

Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care
The Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care will develop a comprehensive nursing-specific language curriculum.

Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre
The Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre will deliver higher levels of language training to immigrants and Convention refugees in the Toronto area in hopes of facilitating their participation in the Canadian labour market in occupations commensurate with their skills and experience.

Centre for Information and Community Services Ontario
This project will assist immigrant internationally trained professionals in Toronto to integrate successfully into the Canadian workplace and thereby into Canadian society by providing higher levels of language training pertinent to their employment needs. It hopes also to establish a unique and effective pathway of employment for immigrants with a professional background and encourage volunteerism among established immigrants as mentors to assist fellow immigrants. This is an important educational process for established immigrants to assist them in learning about the Canadian value of volunteerism, thus facilitating their integration into Canadian society.

The Working Centre
The project aims to bring newcomers together to learn workplace-based English skills, sector-specific terminology and workplace culture in an active learning environment.

Nova Scotia

The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia are working in partnership with the Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association to provide an integrated range of initiatives that bridge the gap to employment for immigrants in Nova Scotia.

Employability Support Stream
The Employability Support Stream targets all newcomers destined for the work force in Nova Scotia. It aims to improve employment possibilities and promote the economic integration of immigrants through a range of supports related to acquiring enhanced language skills.

Health Care Sector Language Pathway Stream
The Health Care Sector Language Pathway Stream provides access to occupation-specific language and cultural training for internationally trained health-care professionals and creates greater awareness in the health-care profession about the barriers facing internationally trained health-care professionals. The project will be used to develop a model for use by other professions facing the same challenges.

Prince Edward Island

Holland College, Charlottetown
Holland College will provide newcomers, who have some level of trade or technical skills, with advanced language training and career-bridging services, including simulated work projects and on-the-job training. This program will help them further develop life and employability skills.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Association for New Canadians
The Association for New Canadians will deliver a comprehensive Enhanced Language Training program and partner with the Career Services Centre to offer employment and career-bridging services. The program will increase the language competencies of the client base and better equip newcomers in their career transitions.


Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks – CELBAN
The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks will develop a pan-Canadian tool that will assess the language proficiency of internationally trained nurses prior to taking the Canadian English Language Benchmarks Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) test to prove their ability to communicate at the level required by the provincial nursing regulators.

Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks – NAC (National Advisory Committee)
The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks will establish a multi-stakeholder review committee to provide advice and evaluate proposals for the Enhanced Language Training initiative.

Centre for Language Training and Assessment
The Centre for Language Training and Assessment, in partnership with the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks, will develop a self-administered on-line English/French language assessment for immigrants. The project will include the development of Canadian Language Benchmarks-based test specifications for on-line testing.

Public Policy Forum
The Public Policy Forum held a roundtable to present the findings of new survey research entitled Bringing Employers into the Immigration Debate. The multi-stakeholder environment provided an opportunity for participants to discuss the public policy implications of all findings. An outcomes report of this roundtable was prepared and distributed to relevant stakeholders.

Canadian Labour and Business Centre
The Canadian Labour and Business Centre organized a series of roundtables to engage employers, labour and other immigration stakeholders. The findings of the roundtables will be used to develop a report on the challenges and best practices in the integration of immigrants into the workplace.