Ontario is funding free language training for all newcomers and immigrants in the province to help people get jobs, pursue an education and adjust to life.
Laura Albanese, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, was joined by MPP Peter Milczyn to make the announcement.
This investment will deliver free language assessment and training courses that help newcomers, refugees and immigrants settle in Ontario, regardless of how long they’ve been in the province.
Ontario’s language training program for immigrants is the largest in Canada.
Language assessment and classes are provided through both the public and Catholic school boards to about 70,000 immigrants every year.
“Strong language skills help immigrants succeed,” said Albanese.
“In Ontario, we open our English and French as a second language courses to all immigrants no matter how long they have lived here. We want immigrants to reach their potential and this investment strengthens their ability to get meaningful jobs, advance their careers or pursue higher education.”
“Having language training programs available where immigrants live and work allows them to practise their skills in the communities in which they live,” said Milczyn.
“It enables them to integrate into the community more easily and enjoy a better life.”
The province is investing up to $60 million this year in Ontario’s Adult Non-Credit Language Training Program.
Immigrants access language courses through their local CLARS (Co-ordinated Language Assessment and Referral System) Centre.
Their language skills are assessed and they are referred to the most suitable and closest training location available to them.
Over 4,000 English as a second language and French as a second language (ESL/FSL) courses are delivered across Ontario in more than 325 locations.
English and French as a second language courses are offered tuition-free.
Some courses may include minimal fees for books and other course materials.
As of the end of August, 2016, there have been about 2,040 refugees from the Syrian conflict who have been enrolled in Ontario’s Language Training Programs.