$12 million Ontario government investment helps foreign-trained Ontarians to strengthen the provincial economy
TORONTO, May 29 /CNW/ - The Ontario government has committed $12 million over three years to launch innovative training projects to help foreign- trained Ontarians gain speedier access to their professions in Ontario, Dianne Cunningham, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, announced today.
"These made-in-Ontario projects will reduce the time required for qualified Ontarians to meet provincial standards and contribute to our growing economy," Cunningham said. "Our government is working with employers, educators, trainers and occupational regulatory bodies to eliminate critical skills shortages in key sectors,"
In last year's budget, the Ontario government invested $3.5 million to support two projects to allow qualified foreign-trained nurses and pharmacists the opportunity to acquire the additional education and skills they need to meet Ontario standards without duplicating learning they have already gained elsewhere. The projects are now underway and have established sustainable processes for foreign-trained healthcare professionals that can be expanded to other sectors, professions and regulated occupations.
"Bridging projects are part of the government's plan to address critical skills shortages by strengthening our ability to attract the world's brightest and best," Cunningham said. "We will work with employers and the community to determine where the next bridging projects could be used to the greatest advantage"
"With the completion of 20,000 new nursing home beds over the next three years, there is a tremendous need for qualified professionals to look after the residents. As the Chair of an organization which will build 650 new beds over the next three years, I am truly excited about these two bridging projects and very proud to be a partner of the CARE for nurses project," said Dr. Joseph Wong, Chair of the Board for the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care.
"Nurses play an essential role in the delivery of an effective healthcare program and it's extremely important to have an adequate supply of qualified healthcare professionals available to meet our needs," said Gail Yardy, CARE project for nurses, St. Michael's Hospital. "Through the bridging project for nurses, hospitals and other healthcare institutions will have a larger pool of professionals to call on while at the same time foreign-trained nurses will be able to pursue their careers in our province more quickly than in the past."
"The Ontario College of Pharmacists is proud to build on its previous work and partner with the faculty of pharmacy and the Ontario government to help qualified, foreign-trained professionals gain speedier access to our profession and meet the needs of communities and individuals across the province," said Sam Hirsch, President of the Ontario College of Pharmacists.
For the nursing project, the government is working in partnership with St. Michael's Hospital, Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care, Woodgreen Community Centre and Kababayan Community Centre, with support from the Ontario College of Nurses and the Ontario Ministry of Health, Nursing Unit.
The Ontario College of Pharmacists and the University of Toronto are the partners for the pharmacy project.
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For more information visit www.edu.gov.on.ca
For further information: Contacts: Dave Ross, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, (416) 325-2709; Kerry Kincaid Delaney, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1625