Ontario is allocating $2.6 million towards four training initiatives aimed at assisting over 300 newcomers, including displaced Afghans and Ukrainians, in their pursuit of stable employment opportunities in Canada. Monte McNaughton, the provincial Immigration Minister, emphasized the importance of collective efforts to realize the Canadian dream in Ontario.
This investment in settlement services from Canada’s most populous province comes shortly after the announcement that starting from January 1, 2024, temporary help agencies (THAs) and recruiters will be required to obtain licenses in order to operate within the province. The objective is to curb the exploitation of temporary foreign workers, as some of these agencies and recruiters have been found guilty of paying below minimum wage and depriving workers of basic employment rights.
McNaughton expressed that while temporary help agencies play a significant role in Ontario’s business landscape and offer opportunities for job seekers, they have long operated within a legal gray area that enables criminals to take advantage of vulnerable workers.
The majority of the funding will be allocated to Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto, enabling them to provide career coaching and paid internships to 230 women. UTIMUS, an organization focused on employment training for newcomers, will receive funding for a project aimed at preparing 60 unemployed or underemployed Afghan and Ukrainian newcomers for employment in the manufacturing sector. Additionally, Matthew House Ottawa will utilize the funding to hire and train 15 newcomers, assisting them in securing more sustainable job opportunities. Toronto Artscape Inc. plans to support 30 Ukrainian artists who are seeking employment in the arts industry.
According to Michael Ford, the provincial Citizenship and Multiculturalism Minister, these programs will empower newcomers to Ontario to achieve their maximum potential and establish a strong foundation for themselves and their families as they embark on their new lives. The programs will be conducted both onsite in Ottawa, Toronto, and Hamilton, as well as online. They will not only provide assistance with resume writing and enhancing interview skills but also offer personalized support to aid newcomers in securing stable, long-term employment.