Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada
Government of Canada

Government of Canada

February 28, 2007 08:56 ET

Canada's New Government Invests in the Integration of Skilled Immigrants Into the Workplace

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 28, 2007) - The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced that Canada's New Government will invest $2,789,469 to support employment integration for skilled immigrants.

"By investing in this project, Canada's new government is delivering on our Advantage Canada commitment to increase the participation of immigrants in the workforce and ensure they have the opportunities and choices necessary to help them build a better and stronger future," said Minister Solberg. "Ultimately, the project will not only open doors for newcomers, it will also address our labour shortage."

Bridging the Gap: Integration of Skilled Immigrants into the Canadian Workplace, is funded through the federal government's Workplace Skills Initiative. The project will be led by the University of Ottawa and will work with small and medium-sized enterprises (SME's), skilled immigrant employees and human resources professionals to develop and test learning modules for understanding the barriers to integration into Canada's workplaces, and then implement strategies to overcome them. With 11,000 participants involved, multiple strategies for mitigating integration challenges will be developed and best practices will be shared among employers.

"This initiative has the potential to positively influence human resource practices across Canada. Increased awareness of multi-cultural and multi-ethnic issues, combined with greater knowledge of industry-specific human resources skills will enable SME's to make organizational improvements and retain immigrant employees," said Dr. Linda Manning, Project Director and professor at the University of Ottawa. "Opportunities for advancement for new Canadians are critical to future economic growth, as these are the people who will be filling the management and leadership gaps."

The Workplace Skills Initiative (WSI) is designed to fund projects that mobilize and transform Canadian workplaces to meet both present and future challenges. The program promotes and tests promising approaches to skills development and improved human resources practices for employed Canadians, encourages employers to invest in the skills of their employees, and informs Government of Canada labour market policy and programming. WSI funded projects support increased collaboration toward the development of models and instruments for workplace skills. A second call for proposals for WSI has just been launched.

The WSI is a key part of Canada's Workplace Skills Strategy, aimed at helping Canadians to become the best trained, most highly skilled workers in the world, as well as ensuring that employers' skills and labour needs are met. Canada's New Government recognizes that Canada's future competitiveness depends on developing a highly skilled workforce, a flexible labour market, as well as productive and innovative workplaces. We continue to work with business, unions, provinces and territories, sector councils and workers to ensure that every person in Canada has the opportunity to develop their skills and obtain meaningful and productive employment.

Contact Information

  • Media only:
    Office of the Honourable Monte Solberg
    Lesley Harmer
    Director of Communications
    Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office