New program helps immigrants integrate into Manitoba's labour market

Accounting, IT and financial services bridging programs among pilot projects
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 09/23/2010

The federal government is investing $1.2 billion in new pilot projects in Manitoba that will give internationally educated newcomers access to the education, training and work experience they need to prepare for licensing exams and find jobs appropriate to their previous training and education.

As part of the Partnerships for Labour Market-Driven Bridge Programs, the Alliance of Manitoba Sector Councils and several government departments will work with post-secondary institutions to create bridge-to-work programs for new immigrants.

"This initiative responds to the educational and credential needs of newcomers, as well as their need for orientation to the Canadian workplace," said Manitoba's Minister of Advanced Education and Literacy Diane McGifford.

"It not only encourages the efficient and effective movement of highly skilled immigrants into employment in high demand sectors of the economy, but also enhances our institutions' capacity to deliver additional bridge programming in the future."

The following programs are supported by the initiative:

Asper Bridge to Professional Accounting Program

This program assists immigrants with a professional accounting background in achieving Chartered Accountant, Certified General Accountant and Certified Management Accountant designations. The accounting regulators will be involved in assessing participants’ credential gaps and are participating in program planning to meet regulators’ licensing requirements. Required courses will be delivered through the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba. Participants will be offered additional coaching, seminars, and a special course designed to present key elements of accounting practice in Canada. Co-operative work placements will follow academic instruction.

Bridge Program for Internationally Educated IT Professionals

This program involves a partnership with Manitoba’s information technology (IT) sector council, the Information and Communications Technology Association of Manitoba. Through this program, the University of Winnipeg provides supplementary foreign credential recognition services, a course entitled English for IT Professionals, courses to fulfill individual gap training needs and orientation to professional practice in Canada.

Financial Services Bridging Program

The financial services sector in western Manitoba serves a full range of needs of this agri‑business hub. In co-operation with major employers, including national banks and regional credit unions, Assiniboine Community College has developed this pilot program to address a need in the region for mid- to senior-level staff. The program includes preparation for the Canadian Securities licensing exam as well as a course called English for Financial Services, orientation to Canadian (and rural Canadian) culture, and gap training related to legislation and professional practice in Canada.

Trades-Related Initiative

Apprenticeship Manitoba, Red River College, Assiniboine Community College and the University College of the North are partnering to develop a pilot trades bridge program to deliver gap training in the construction and industrial electrician trades.

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