Workplace language training gets cash boost

Ontario invests $3.4 million over two years
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/15/2008

Syed Wasimul Haque knows how to run a business. In Karachi, Pakistan, he held the post of chief executive officer at a number of organizations, including banks. But in Canada, in a technician job at a cabinet manufacturer, he couldn’t express himself well enough to offer the smallest of inputs in how things were done.

“I couldn’t have a conversation. I had to stop and try to remember the words all the time,” said Haque.

The fact he can manage a conversation now is thanks to an English language class offered at AyA Kitchens and Baths in Mississauga, Ont., where he works. In the class, Haque learns more than just conversational English. He also learns terminology that’s unique to his line of work, such as parts of the cabinet.