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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Launches Free Job Training for Newcomers

OTTAWA — The Ontario government is investing $2.6 million in four free training projects to help more than 300 newcomers, including displaced Afghans and Ukrainians, find meaningful jobs with local employers. Ontario welcomes more immigrants than any other province each year, and research has shown that helping internationally-trained newcomers work in the professions they studied for could increase Ontario’s GDP by up to $100 billion over the next five years.

“The Canadian dream is alive and well in Ontario, and we need all hands on deck to build it,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our province was the first in Canada to ban discriminatory Canadian work experience requirements so newcomers can work in the fields they’ve studied for. Our government will continue our mission to spread good jobs and opportunity to every corner of the province. Working together, we are building a stronger Ontario that leaves no one behind.”

Led by Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto, Matthew House Ottawa, Toronto Artscape, and UTIMUS, the programs announced today will prepare jobseekers for well-paying careers in manufacturing, finance, administration, communications, hospitality and the arts. Participants will have the chance to explore a range of employment and training options through paid internships, job placements, language training and digital literacy courses.

“Ontario will always welcome newcomers from all corners of the globe,” said Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism. “Under the leadership of Premier Ford and Minister McNaughton, this $2.6 million investment will help newcomers, including displaced Afghans and Ukrainians, access free job training and resources to find meaningful work in well-paying industries and in the fields they studied in. This will help them reach their full potential and build a solid foundation for themselves and their families as they begin their new chapter in Ontario.”

Jobseekers will also have access to help with resume writing, improving interview skills, and other tailored support to help them find and retain long-term employment. Training – including for Afghan and Ukrainian arrivals – will be delivered in Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton and online and will match participants’ skills with the needs of businesses hiring in their communities.

The projects are funded through the government’s Skills Development Fund, an over $700 million initiative, which supports ground-breaking programs that connect jobseekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home. For more information on how to register, contact one of the participating organizations.

Quick Facts

  • The Ontario government is leading the country with first-in-Canada changes to help internationally-trained immigrants work in the fields they’ve studied in.

  • Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto is receiving $1,522,396 for their project, which will prepare 230 newcomer women with employment readiness, career coaching and a paid internship.

    • Apply online for the August training cohort here.

  • UTIMUS is receiving $833,626 to prepare 60 unemployed or underemployed Afghan and Ukrainian newcomers for work in the manufacturing sector in Ontario.

    • UTIMUS is offering four cohorts of training throughout 2023 and those interested can apply here.

  • Matthew House Ottawa is receiving $137,850 for their project, which will hire and train 15 newcomers at the Refugee Services and Furniture Bank for eight to 10 weeks and assist them in finding longer-term employment opportunities.

    • Training is being offered until March 2024 and those interested can apply here.

  • Toronto Artscape Inc. is receiving $123,190 to provide 30 Ukrainian artists with the tools and experience needed to find jobs with local employers in the arts industry.

    • Artscape training will begin September 6, 2023. A call for participants will be posted here.

  • Through its first three funding rounds, the Skills Development Fund has supported 596 projects, to help almost 522,000 people around the province take the next step in their careers.

  • The Ontario government launched the new $224 million capital stream for the Skills Development Fund on June 30 to support the building of new training centres and the renovation or expansion of existing ones.

  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.


"Thanks to the generous funding received from the MLITSD, Newcomer Women's Services Toronto (NEW) will be providing skills development training and job placements to 230 racialized immigrant and refugee women in Ontario through our Advanced Leadership program. In partnership with the top business schools in Canada and a network of employers from different industries, we will create pathways to labour market inclusion for immigrant women, and will support them in building purpose-driven careers. This invaluable funding allows us to reach out to those in need, provide essential services, and bring about positive change in the lives of countless immigrant women."

- Sara Asalya Executive Director, NEW

"UTIMUS is thrilled to be working with Minister McNaughton and the Government of Ontario to help Afghan and Ukrainian new arrivals earn Canadian credentials, and thus get better jobs where Ontario needs the workers. These programs will help them build better lives for themselves and their families, and build a stronger workforce in Ontario."

- Brian Macdonald CEO, UTIMUS

"We are grateful to Minister McNaughton and the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development for this funding to continue our meaningful and effective employment program. Our Newcomer Training and Employment Program provides an important avenue to support refugees and newcomers on their path to long-term, stable, sustainable employment and it is making a big impact in the lives of program participants, local businesses and our broader community."

- Allan Reesor-McDowell Executive Director, Matthew House Ottawa

"Artscape is thrilled to support Ukrainian creatives during this critical time, thanks to the generous funding from the Skills Development Fund. The program will provide professional artists and designers who have sought refuge in Canada with in-depth Creative Entrepreneurship training, aimed at enhancing their career sustainability and employability in Canada."

- Grace Lee Reynolds CEO, Artscape

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