Bonjour Canada! Free French Lessons Await Newcomers as a Warm Welcome

Embarking on a journey to a new country can be both exciting and daunting for newcomers. However, the Canadian path to integration and success begins before setting foot on its welcoming shores. Recognizing the importance of a smooth transition, the Canadian government has implemented a comprehensive system of pre-arrival services for newcomers. These unique and invaluable resources aim to equip individuals and families with the necessary tools, knowledge, and support to thrive in their new Canadian lives.

As a part of the total settlement money extensions announcement on May 11, 2023, The Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board, and Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced on June 27 that a contribution of approximately $10.5 million to Collège La Cité and Colleges and Institutes Canada to assist the institutions with pre-arrival services to incoming immigrants.

“Ensuring that immigrants can receive high-quality and reliable information results in better decision-making and an easier transition to Canada. With our investment and continuing support, Collège La Cité will be able to provide more individuals with services such as pre-departure assistance and integration programs once they arrive in Canada. The success of newcomers relies on Canada’s continuing commitment to provide state-of-the-art accessible services.”

– The Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board

Before newcomers arrive in Canada, newcomers are provided with a range of online and in-person services by Collège La Cité and Colleges and Institutes Canada, extending support and assistance internationally. The services involve learning about the Canadian work environment, developing soft skills, and getting career coaching.

Collège La Cité Services

Collège La Cité supports incoming immigrants with various pre-arrival services. The services can be listed as follows:

  • You can learn French whenever and wherever you choose, at your pace.
    • You will be assisted in this learning by a skilled trainer.
    • You get access to the platform around-the-clock, with weekly teacher supervision.
  • To give customer service in the workplace, you can learn to speak French and English fluently and grasp the customer’s spoken language and the main points of their request.
  • You can get subsidized vocational training for up to two years to relaunch your career.
  • You will get personalized guidance and administrative assistance from admission till graduation.
  • French, mathematics, IT, self-management, biology, chemistry, physics, and 135 training programs are available to adults applying for college programs or technical jobs.
    • You will get flexible teaching hours.
    • You can have your class online or hybrid.
  • You can enroll in the following bridge courses to increase your chances of standing out in the labor market.
    • Training based on Occupation to learn effective Canadian communication tactics.
    • Program for administrative bridging for improving your abilities through technical and theoretical instruction.
    • Construction-related training program with 206 hours and 140 hours of internship for learning and hands-on workshops to comprehend Ontario’s legislation and environment
  • You can register for the PAMEC administration program to register for employer networking events.

Services provided by Colleges & Institutes Canada (CIC)

CIC is one of the largest network for postsecondary education and also help incoming immigrants through various programs. The programs are listed as follows:

Planning for Canada

Services provided by Planning for Canada assist newcomers in defining expectations, making educated decisions regarding settlement, preparing for success on the job and in their personal lives, and creating a network of connections and resources to carry out their plans.

Since 2007, Planning for Canada has assisted more than 55,000 individuals with their highly competent, live interactive program, available online in both English and French.

Skills Compass

Skills Compass empowers newcomers by providing access to education and training by offering wrap-around supports, career pathways, and community partners to help identify and address common barriers to education and employment. This is done by connecting colleges and institutes, service providers, community partners, and employers.

Up to 130 Indigenous and immigrant adolescents between the ages of 18 and 30 who were jobless or underemployed over the previous three years got instruction and training suited to their requirements to enroll in additional post-secondary training or enter the workforce will boost their possibilities for advancement.

Inclusive Pre-Apprenticeship Pathways

Unlocking Inclusive Pre-Apprenticeship Pathways, a collaboration with the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF), ensures that people experiencing educational hurdles attend specialized training that supports skill development, practical learning opportunities, and the pursuit of a rewarding career.

You will be offered more than 300 pre-apprenticeship programs in more than 20 skilled trades. More than 80 such initiatives aid marginalized and disadvantaged communities.

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