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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

NATIONAL JOB FAIR

Government and business look to the skills of the internationally trained
As more people reach retirement age, Ontario business leaders are looking overseas to recruit the workers they will need to be competitive in the global marketplace.

The Ontario government recognizes this need and is working to tear down barriers to employment faced by immigrants, and create more opportunities for the internationally trained to contribute to the province's economic growth.

"Ontario can compete and win in the global marketplace by building the best-educated and most highly skilled workforce in North America," said Mary Anne Chambers, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. "To achieve that goal, we must tear down the barriers that immigrants face when they try to enter Ontario's trades and professions."

Each year, about 120,000 immigrants choose Ontario as their new home. Of these, more than 70% of those of working age are highly skilled with post-secondary education or training.

Hiring internationally trained individuals provides employers with employees who are experienced with other language, cultures and business environments. They bring insight into potential overseas markets and international competitors.

In addition, internationally trained individuals provide employers with an edge in serving the needs of Ontario's multicultural population.

The Ontario government is working in partnership with Ontario's occupational regulatory bodies to reduce barriers that prevent internationally trained individuals from working in their fields of expertise. The government is committed to reducing major regulatory barriers within one year.

To help eliminate barriers to employment, the Ontario government supports 20 bridge-training programs aimed at assessing the skills and knowledge of internationally trained individuals. The programs provide training and Canadian work experience to help qualified immigrants continue their careers without duplicating what they have already learned.

Education evaluations

In addition, the Ontario government supports World Education Services, a not-for-profit agency with an international reputation for providing accurate evaluations of secondary and post-secondary education qualifications earned outside Canada. The service is used by more than 85 organizations, including the Certified General Accountants of Ontario, IBM, DOFASCO, Magna, APOTEX Inc and Union Gas.

For more information on programs to help employers tap into the skills of internationally trained individuals, contact the Ontario government's Job Grow Hotline at 1-888-Job-Grow or visit "Opening Doors" at the webpage for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities: www.edu.gov.on.ca.



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