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New IWES skills training program launches in Ontario to help global talent integrate and succeed in the workplace

According to a recent labour market forecast for the information and communications (ICT) sector, more than half of the internationally educated professionals (IEPs) who plan to work in ICT settle in Ontario, most often Toronto (ICTC Outlook: 2008-2015). Overall, the province has Canada’s highest number of ICT professionals and is home to almost half of all ICT employment in the country. Yet, as the need for greater skills depth and breadth increases in various ICT occupations, there is a widespread skills shortage for many ICT occupations due to the limited number of job candidates with the total package of business, language and technical competencies that employers are looking for.

In order to help global ICT talent develop the skils needed to integrate successfully into the workplace, today the Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration attended the launch of the Integrated Work Experience Strategy (IWES), a new, three-year, multi-intake skills training pilot program in Ontario.

“The Information and Communications Technology Council and the Government of Ontario are creating exciting new opportunities for newcomers to contribute their skills and talents to employers in Ontario’s growing technology sector,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. “Our Open Ontario Plan is helping businesses thrive, create jobs, and build innovative new products to sell to the world. It’s a win, win situation.”

IWES provides six weeks of intensive in-classroom training focusing on workplace cultural intelligence, workplace communication, business networking, community connections and mentoring, followed by a minimum of three months of guided work experience (or practicum) with an ICT employer.

“Internationally educated professionals, particularly in the information and communications technology field, bring enormous wealth of education and expertise to Ontario that can help to drive increased innovation and productivity,” said Paul D. Swinwood, President of ICTC. “IWES will help to bring highly skilled global talent together with employers and bridge the skills mismatch challenge in the ICT sector.”

The program is being offered by ICTC in partnership with JVS Toronto at its Markham location.

“After World War II, we helped Jewish immigrants find jobs in Toronto. Today, with this partnership, we’re able to serve immigrants from different backgrounds with diverse needs on an entirely different level,” said Karen Goldenberg, CEO and President of JVS Toronto. “It’s a thrill to be part of this exciting venture, which takes us back to our roots.”
The deadline for the next round of applications for the program is May 14, 2010. More information about the eligibility criteria, components, and application procedure can be found at: www.ictc-ctic.ca or by emailing iwesON@ictc-ctic.ca

The IWES program in Ontario is funded by the Government of Ontario, who receives support for some skills training programs from the Government of Canada.

About ICTC
The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit sector council that strives to create a diverse, prepared and highly educated Canadian ICT industry and workforce. We forge partnerships that will help develop the quantity and quality of ICT professionals needed to maintain and improve Canada’s position as a leader in the global marketplace. www.ictc-ctic.ca

About JVS Toronto
JVS Toronto is a non-profit organization that was founded over 60 years ago to assist Jewish immigrants in finding employment after World War II. Today, the organization works with thousands of people from diverse backgrounds with diverse needs. JVS Toronto helps clients identify their strengths and goals, and develop the necessary skills and knowledge they need to succeed in school, work and life. Since 1947, this remarkable organization has enabled over 500,000 people to fulfill their potential. www.jvstoronto.org

For further information: Amanda Batchelor, Manager of Communications and Marketing, JVS Toronto, (416) 787-1151 ext. 287, abatchelor@jvstoronto.org; Tammy Bokhari, Communications Manager, Immigration Initiatives, ICTC, (613) 237-8551 ext. 129, t.bokhari@ictc-ctic.ca

Posted: Jul 2, 2010

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