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Language remains key to success in Canada


Canada’s new Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander presented a citizenship certificate to Yu Hsin Chen at his first citizenship ceremony in Surrey, British Columbia.

When it comes to determining the degree of success a newcomer will enjoy in Canada, nothing trumps language. 

The ability to communicate effectively in at least one of Canada’s official languages is essential in understanding Canadian culture, in getting to know your neighbours, and in becoming an active and engaged citizen – not to mention how important it is when looking for a job in Canada. Nearly all jobs in Canada require substantially more than basic fluency in English or French. In addition to fluency in English or French, most trades and professions also require a strong command of all work-related language, including the cultural knowledge to understand common phrases and expressions, some of which may be unique to Canada.

Language is fundamentally important to make it in Canada, especially for newcomers looking to pursue a career in the field for which they’ve been trained or to access post-secondary education. This is why Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) funds a large network of service providers who offer language training for free.

The Government of Canada, in cooperation with provincial governments, school boards, community colleges and immigrant-serving organizations, offers free language training across the country to adult permanent residents. In most provinces, the name of the program is LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada). In French, the program is known as CLIC (Cours de langue pour les immigrants au Canada).

To help newcomers integrate into the labour market, many immigrant-serving organizations also offer programs or training in job-search skills, networking, internships, mentorships or work placements.

CIC has also developed online tools to help newcomers find employment. Located on the Foreign Credentials Referral Office website, the Workbook Tool (www.credentials.gc.ca) helps newcomers create an action plan to obtain employment. In addition, the Working in Canada Tool (WorkinginCanada.gc.ca) helps newcomers better understand labour market and occupational requirements by province. For more information on free services for newcomers, log on to cic.gc.ca/newcomers2.

Posted: Sep 5, 2013

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