Bridge training for internationally trained newcomers
Fitting into the job market
In June, the Ontario government announced its intention to invest $8.8 million to renew 12 bridge training programs at agencies and post-secondary institutions across the province. Currently, 30 of all the bridge training programs funded by the province are offered at 15 post-secondary schools (see list below).
Terry Poulton, Special to QMI Agency
Recent Bridge Training graduates with Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Eric Hoskins (centre back).
Like their predecessor programs — which have helped more than 40,000 newcomers, in over 220 different professions, get licenced and find jobs in their field since 2003 — all are designed to help internationally trained newcomers adapt their professional experience and skills to suit the provincial job market.
Viral Vyas says he considers himself living proof that the bridging initiative works. In his native India, he had earned a Master’s degree in social work and practised his profession in a series of high-level positions for eight years.
“But when I came to Canada,” Vyas recalls, “I applied for nearly 75 positions over a year and didn’t get a single interview.”
With assistance from the provincial program, Vyas enrolled in a bridging course at Ryerson University, which taught him how to adapt his technical, cultural and language skills, without wasting time duplicating his previous training.
Vyas graduated in 2009 and quickly found a position as a family connections counsellor with Associated Youth Services of Peel, as well as a spot on the board of directors at the Etobicoke Children’s Centre.
Tej Wadhawa, program manager for Ryerson’s IESW (Internationally Educated Social Work) program at the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, says Vyas’s story ideally illustrates how the lives of newcomers can be maximized.
But she says the benefits are at least as great to “a country that has relied on immigration to meet our labour demands. Immigrants are going to settle down, buy homes, buy cars and make a strong economic contribution. So the bridging initiative is actually a good investment.”
Wadhawa adds that the job prospects for newcomers is significantly enhanced by the fact that “employers are very interested in our internationally trained graduates [because hiring them] can result in employees with diverse credentials as well as linguistic and cultural skills that work well for companies with multicultural workplaces and clients.
“It only makes sense to leverage that global experience. And, best of all,” she concludes, “89% of students who have taken certificate programs with us have found relevant employment within a year of graduating.”
For more information, visit news.ontario.ca/mci/en/2011/06/helping-skilled-newcomers-train-for-jobs-in-their-field.html.
• International Finance and Administration Professionals (IFAP)
• Keeping it Current for Internationally Educated Nurses
• Internationally Trained Civil Engineering Technologist (ITCET)
• Pre-Health Bridge to Practical Nursing Diploma
• Bridge to Certification for Internationally Educated Nurses
George Brown College
•Enhanced Academic Pathway for Nurses Graduate Certificate
• .NET Solutions for Internationally Trained IT Professionals
• Software Skills Enhancement Project
La Cité Colégiale
• Access to Information Technology and Communications Program
• Securing Employment
• Access to Construction Trades Program for Immigrants “ACTPI”
• Professions North/ Nord: A Bridging Program for New Canadians
• Occupational Therapy Examination & Practice Preparation (OTEPP) Project
• Fair and Effective Language Assessment for Internationally Educated Allied Health Professionals
• International Accounting & Finance Professionals (IAFP) Program
• Embedding Cultural Competency Curriculum within Organizations
• Internationally Educated Dietitians Pre-registration Program
• International Midwifery Pre-registration Program (IMPP): Curriculum Enhancement and Graduate Mentoring
• Internationally Educated Social Work Professionals (IESW) Bridging Program
• Bridging to Green Careers
University of Guelph
• Specialized Employment in Support of Rural Ontario (SESRO)
University of Toronto
• Pharmacy Language Assessment Validation
• Business Edge for Internationally Trained Women Professionals
• Pathways to Employment for Internationally Trained Professionals in Biotechnology
• Bridge Training Program for Internationally Trained Lawyers
University of Waterloo
• The International Optometric Bridging Program
• Building Internationally Educated Nurses' Intercultural Competence through Technologically Enhanced Learning
• Bridge Training for Internationally Educated Professionals in Business, Finance and Administration
• Bridging Internationally Educated IT Professionals
• "Test for Success": Multifaceted Program to Promote Internationally Educated Nurse Success on the Canadian Registered Nurse Exam (CRNE)