Government of Ontario Announce Funding for Bridging Programs in Ottawa

OTTAWA, September 16, 2010 – Hire Immigrants Ottawa congratulates three partners—LASI World Skills, La Cité collégiale, and Algonquin College—on receiving funding from the Government of Ontario.

At an event hosted by Hire Immigrants Ottawa, at the Ottawa United Way, the Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced $1.7 million in funding for bridging programs to support the integration of immigrants into the Ontario work force.

This funding will support bridge programs that include skills updating, job search workshops, job matching, cross-cultural workplace training, and résumé clinics, and other services, to address the barriers and challenges immigrants and new Canadians often face when entering the labourforce. The programs provided by these organizations complement the approach Hire Immigrants Ottawa takes in working with employers by building a pool of talented, job-ready candidates.

As Ottawa’s workforce ages and birthrate declines, immigration will account for all of the region’s labour force growth within two years. The local economy faces current and projected skilled labour shortages in a number of sectors. More than 80 per cent of Ottawa’s labour force growth currently comes from immigration. According to the City of Ottawa, the underemployment of skilled immigrants costs the Canadian economy an estimated $5.9 billion annually.

“The investments by the Government of Ontario in skills training for immigrants demonstrates the importance they attach to supporting the effective integration of immigrants and to maximizing their talent for the growth and prosperity of Ontario’s economy,” says Henry Akanko, Director, Hire immigrants Ottawa. “Newcomers to Ottawa are filling a growing need for skilled talent in the city. If Ottawa is to remain what urbanist Richard Florida calls Canada’s Creative Economy Capital, it is important to address critical skilled labour shortages and the importance of skilled immigrants as part of the solution.”


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About Hire Immigrants Ottawa

Hire Immigrants Ottawa is a local initiative that connects employers, immigrant agencies and stakeholders to create employment opportunities for skilled immigrants in the Ottawa area. Lead partners of the HIO initiative include United Way Ottawa, City of Ottawa, Local Agencies Serving Immigrants (LASI) World Skills Inc., le Regroupement des Gens d’Affaires de la Capitale Nationale (RGA), Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI) and Ottawa Chamber of Commerce. Hire Immigrants Ottawa is funded by the Government of Ontario and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.


For further information, please contact:

Melinda Wong
Manager of Communications and Marketing
Hire Immigrants Ottawa

T: 613-683-3882

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