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Assisting Internationally Trained Individuals: An Overview of Key Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Programs/Initiatives. Presentation to Opening Doors Workshop Seneca College, Markham Campus March 3, 2010. Overview.

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Assisting Internationally Trained Individuals: An Overview of Key Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Programs/Initiatives

Presentation to

Opening Doors Workshop

Seneca College, Markham Campus

March 3, 2010

  • The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI) provides a range of services to help Ontario’s newcomers and internationally trained individuals (ITIs) find employment at a level commensurate with their skills and education.
  • Global Experience Ontario
  • Bridge Training Programs
  • Bridge Training Success Stories (incl. 2 video clips)
  • Adult Non-Credit Language Training
  • Specialized Language Training
  • Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program
  • Newcomer Settlement Program
  • The Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications
global experience ontario geo
Global Experience Ontario (GEO)

GEO is an access centre for Internationally Trained Individuals and others who are interested in applying for licensure and registration in the 14 non-health regulated professions in Ontario.

GEO is co-located with HealthForceOntario (HFO) Access Centre. Internationally trained and educated health professionals who visit the HFO Access Centre can learn how to qualify for professional practice in Ontario's regulated health professions. For more information, please visit and follow the links to the Access Centre.

geo cont d what are the 14 non health regulated professions
GEO (cont’d)What are the 14 Non-Health Regulated Professions?


Certified Engineering Technician and Technologist

Certified General Accountant

Certified Management Accountant

Chartered Accountant

Early Childhood Educator

  • Forester
  • Land Surveyor
  • Lawyer (including Paralegal)
  • Professional Engineer
  • Professional Geoscientist
  • Social Worker and Social Services Worker
  • Teacher
  • Veterinarian
geo cont d what does geo do
GEO (cont’d)What Does GEO Do?

Provides information, assistance and referrals by email, telephone and in person to:

Internationally Trained Individuals (ITIs)

Government and Community Agencies

Educational Institutions


Occupational and Professional Associations

Regulatory Bodies

Conducts research, analyzes trends and identifies issues related to the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act and the registration of ITIs and others by regulated professions.

GEO ensures that relevant and current information about regulated professions and trades is always available to ITIs through Career Maps. Career Maps explain in detail the registration process, including credential assessment process, licensing fees, language requirements, industry trends, labour market conditions, and other important information.

Maps are available online at:

E-Career Maps are available at:

geo cont d geo assists internationally trained individuals with questions such as
GEO (cont’d)GEO Assists Internationally Trained Individuals with Questions Such As:
  • Do I need to get a license to work as a teacher?
  • How long will it take to be licensed as a mechanical engineer?
  • How much will it cost to get a license? Do you provide financial assistance?
  • Why are they asking for Canadian work experience?
  • Can you find me a job?
  • Where can I get my credentials assessed?
  • Can you help me prepare for the exams?
  • What (free) training can I get?
  • I am planning to immigrate to Canada/Ontario, what advice can you give me about settlement and finding employment in my profession?
bridge training programs
Bridge Training Programs
  • Bridge Training Programs assess a newcomer’s skills and provide targeted training that addresses only what a skilled newcomer needs to meet requirements for licensure and employment in regulated and non-regulated professions in Ontario.
  • In addition, bridging programs may also help Ontario’s employers and institutions better assess and integrate skilled newcomers effectively into Ontario’s workforce
  • Project partners typically include post-secondary institutions, regulators, employers, community agencies, and the federal government.
  • Bridging programs have assisted internationally trained nurses, pharmacists, teachers, laboratory technicians and skilled tradespeople, among others, to continue their careers in Ontario.
  • Many bridging programs offer a higher-level language training component. Language proficiency and communication skills are key to newcomers obtaining and retaining meaningful employment.
bridge training programs cont d
Bridge Training Programs (cont’d)
  • MCI’s Labour Market Integration Unit (LMI) funds bridge training programs in the following three categories:
    • Getting a License – Provide training to assist internationally trained individuals to obtain licensure and employment in regulated professions.
    • Getting a Job – Provide training to assist internationally trained individuals to obtain employment in non-regulated professions, as well as individuals who have already obtained licensure and are now seeking employment.
    • Changing the System - Initiatives that create change on a system-wide or sector-wide basis to improve the integration of internationally trained individuals into the labour market.
bridge training programs cont d1
Bridge Training Programs (cont’d)
  • Ontario Bridge Training Programs may offer participants:
    • Academic and technical training
    • Occupation-specific language training
    • Workplace culture and communication training (i.e., “soft skills”)
    • Work experience (e.g., internships, mentorships, clinical placements)
    • Employment services (e.g., labour market orientation, job search skills, interview preparation)
    • Licensure exam preparation

For more information, please visit:

bridge training success stories disseminating successful models
Bridge Training Success StoriesDisseminating Successful Models
  • One of the first bridge training programs, CARE developed an effective model of helping internationally educated nurses (IENs) get licensed and employed.
  • CARE delivers itinerant services in London and Hamilton Region and has helped over 1000 IENs get licensed and employed.
  • CARE also partners with bridge training programs for IENs at York University, Centennial College, Mohawk College, Algonquin College, Fanshawe College, and George Brown College.

Video Clip: Nursing – York University

bridge training success stories cont d meeting ontario s labour market needs
Bridge Training Success Stories (cont’d)Meeting Ontario’s Labour Market Needs
  • The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), in partnership with Professional Engineers Ontario, developed a bridge training program specifically for internationally trained environmental engineers.
  • The Professional Access and Integration Enhancement (PAIE) program helping is helping 40 environmental engineers who were trained abroad to translate their international credentials and experience into Ontario jobs.

“Not only did PAIE program get me a work placement, but it also put me in a position where I can learn more skills, make contributions to an organization that I can be proud of, boost my self-esteem and most of all keep me close to the achievement of my goal.”

Leany Moreno, originally from the Philippines

bridge training success stories cont d improving outcomes on licensure exams
Bridge Training Success Stories (cont’d)Improving Outcomes on Licensure Exams
  • The International Pharmacy Graduate (IPG) Ontario Bridge Training Program at the University of Toronto has improved the pass rate on the pharmacy licensure exam from 20% to 92%.
  • The IPG program has an employment success rate of almost 100%, helping to meet Ontario’s demand for qualified pharmacists.
bridge training success stories cont d addressing under employment
Bridge Training Success Stories (cont’d)Addressing Under-employment
  • An internationally trained early childhood educator (ECE) was only able to find employment in a fast food chain.
  • Less than a year after completing an Ontario Bridge Training Program, she is now a fully certified ECE educator and is working in her field again in Ontario.

Video Clip: ECE – AECEO

adult non credit language training
Adult Non-Credit Language Training
  • Provides English and/or French language training to adult immigrants to improve their language skills.
  • There are over 120,000 learners enrolled in the program.
  • Classes are offered through local school boards at nearly 400 locations across Ontario – schools, adult learning centres, community organizations, churches, libraries and other locations.
  • Courses are offered at many levels of language ability, from beginner to more advanced levels and include a variety of customized courses such as:
    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) preparation
    • Occupation-specific language training
    • ESL for literacy

To find a language training class in your local community please visit

specialized language training pilot projects
Specialized Language Training (Pilot Projects)
  • Pilot projects offer occupation-specific language training at varying levels of language ability, both in and for the workplace.
  • Pilot projects are designed to strengthen immigrants’ language skills so they can:
    • Gain employment that reflects their qualifications; or
    • Function more effectively in current jobs.
  • This initiative promotes the development and testing of innovative curriculum with a focus on occupation-specific terminology for different employment sectors.
  • Projects target a variety of occupational sectors including: accounting, business, finance, engineering, health care, hospitality and skilled trades.
  • As a result of the 2009/10 Invitation for Applications, 16 school boards will be delivering 31 projects over the next 3 years.
language training eligibility criteria
Language Training Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the Adult Non-Credit Language Training Program or the Specialized Language Training Pilot Projects, a learner must be an individual:

1. Whose first language is neither English nor French; and

2. Who is at least eighteen years old, or an early school leaver, or has completed his/her high school diploma and is not a day school pupil enrolled in any publicly supported day school in Ontario; and

3. (a) Who is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, Convention refugee or a refugee claimant; or

(b) Who is a provincial nominee, or their dependant, who has been approved through the Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program but has not yet been processed to receive permanent resident status; or

(c) Who is a temporary foreign worker, or their dependant, who has been approved through the Canadian Experience Class but has not yet been processed to receive permanent resident status; or

(d) Who is approved as a foreign domestic worker admitted under the Live-In Caregiver program.

opportunities ontario provincial nominee program
Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program
  • Opportunities Ontario can nominate up to 1,000 individuals per year. As a result to the economic downturn, the program expects to nominate approximately 500 individuals and their families in the Fiscal Year 2009-2010.
  • Nominations are made in two Categories:
    • General Category allows employers to recruit skilled foreign workers to address their human resource needs. It also allows investors to bring in key employees.
    • International Student Category allows employers to recruit international students to address their human resource needs.
  • Opportunities Ontario is employer-driven:
    • Employers apply to Opportunities Ontario to request positions. Investors apply to an Ontario ministry to have their investment proposal endorsed.
    • Once positions are approved, recruited individuals submit a nominee application. Fees are charged at this stage.
  • Applications are processed on a first-come-first-served basis.
Opportunities Ontario (cont’d)Employer Eligibility Criteria: General and International Student Categories
  • Employers must demonstrate they meet eligibility criteria by having:
    • An active business for at least 3 years as a corporation, limited partnership or sole proprietorship.
    • At least $1 million in revenues in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) or $0.5 million in revenues outside the GTA .
    • At least 5 Full Time Employees (FTEs) in the GTA or 3 FTEs outside the GTA.
  • Employers can request multiple nominee positions depending on the number of employees they have, up to a maximum of 20. There is no maximum for nominee positions employers can request in the Health and Education sectors.
Opportunities Ontario (cont’d)Nominee Position Eligibility Criteria: General and International Student Categories
  • Nominee positions requested by employers and investors will need to meet all of the following to be eligible:
    • Be in any managerial, professional, or skilled trade occupation.
    • Be permanent and full-time.
    • Receive a market wage.

Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program Why choose Opportunities Ontario?

Foreign workers and international students will want to participate because they and their immediate families will obtain permanent residence in Canada faster.

  • No work experience requirement
  • No language testing
  • No point system
  • Provincial Nominees receivepriority processing from CIC
newcomer settlement program
Newcomer Settlement Program
  • MCI’s Newcomer Settlement Program (NSP) is delivered through a network of community-based organizations across the province. NSP consists of programs and services that help newcomers settle, integrate and become fully engaged in all aspects of life in Ontario.
  • Services provided as part of NSP include basic job search assistance and information and referral to skills training and employment support programs.
  • NSP complements federally funded settlement services, delivering services to a broad range of newcomers including Canadian citizens and refugee claimants who are not eligible for federal settlement services.
  • NSP funded services have flexible eligibility criteria and are open to a broad range of clients including:
    • Permanent residents including Convention Refugees
    • Canadian citizens
    • Refugee claimants
    • Newcomers admitted under Ontario’s Provincial Nominee Program
    • Foreign domestic workers admitted under the Live-In Caregiver Program
    • Minister’s permit holders who have special permission to remain in Canada for the purposes of becoming a permanent resident.
pan canadian framework for the assessment and recognition of foreign qualifications
Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications

Pan-Canadian Vision:

A fair and competitive labour market environment where immigrants have the opportunity to fully use their education, skills and work experience for their benefit and for Canada's collective prosperity

The Framework represents a public commitment by all governments to take action on the issue of qualification recognition

Principles-based: Processes and practices must be fair, transparent, timely, and consistent across Canada

Collaborative and integrated:Successful implementation requires a collaborative, supportive, and respectful environment

Deadline-driven: By December 31, 2010, an initial set of target occupations will achieve the commitment to timely service

pan canadian framework cont d guiding principles for the framework
Pan-Canadian Framework (cont’d)Guiding Principles for the Framework

Fairness:The criteria used for determining recognition of qualifications are objective, reasonable, and do not exhibit bias.

Transparency: Requirements for applying to a specific occupation, as well as the methods for assessment and criteria for recognition of foreign qualifications, are fully described, easy to understand, and widely accessible to immigrants.

Timeliness: The assessment and recognition of foreign qualifications, as well as the communication of assessment decisions, are carried out promptly and efficiently.

Consistency: The methods for assessment and criteria used for determining recognition of qualifications for specific regulated occupations are mutually acceptable in each province and territory of Canada so that the results of the assessment processes are mutually acceptable.

pan canadian framework cont d commitment to timely service
Pan-Canadian Framework (cont’d)Commitment to Timely Service

Pan-Canadian Commitment to Timely Service:

Within one year, based on a perfected and complete application, an individual will know whether their qualifications will be recognized, or be informed of the additional requirements necessary for registration, or be directed toward related occupations commensurate with their skills and experience

Target Occupations will have an action plan in place to develop the processes and supports necessary to ensure the application of the Framework’s principles, including achieving the Pan-Canadian Commitment to Timely Service

contact information
Contact Information

In person:

Global Experience Ontario

163 Queen Street East, 2nd Floor

Toronto, ON M5A 1S1

Tel: 1-866-670-4094 or 416-327-9694

TTY: 416-327-9710

Fax: 416-327-9711