Help is here for new Canadian residents who need language and communication skills to succeed in the labour market. Specialized training is being offered by Georgian College this winter.
Occupation-Specific Language Training (OSLT) is a free program that teaches language and communication skills specific to certain sectors and occupations. OSLT is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Georgian is offering one online course this winter for those with experience in technology.
“OSLT is for those who are internationally trained or have previous work experience in their field but are experiencing communication barriers while trying to find work in Canada,” says Patricia Whittington, Director, Indigenous Services and Access Programs.
Students practise dialogue and communication tasks commonly performed in their field to learn the specific language and communication skills necessary to build a successful career in their field.
Patricia says past program participants have increased confidence in spoken English and knowledge of workplace culture, which has helped them in interviews and networking situations.
After successfully completing several Georgian OSLT courses, Adriana Granes said the program provided her with the tools she needed to achieve her goals. “The program gave me orientation to understand the Canadian workplace and the appropriate communication level to study in a college or university.”
Adriana was an accomplished architect and urban planner working on her PhD in sustainable cities in her home city of Sao Paulo, Brazil before moving to Ontario. She learned that strong communication skills are the key to getting a position that matches the vast experience she gained in her home country. The free courses through OSLT are helping her achieve her goals.
“I realized that speaking and listening clearly are essential tools to finding a job that matches your high-level technical skills,” she says. “It does not matter if you have a high level of education in your country if your communication skills are not compatible. We need to understand that English is the key to succeed.”
Now, she has reached a level of comprehension to study the Ontario Building Code so she will receive her Building Code Identification Number to give her authorization to sign projects in Ontario.
OSLT professor Sherry Hejazi says that OSLT is an opportunity for all immigrants who have travelled thousands of miles to build a better future for themselves.
“The online OSLT stream allows students to learn more about their industry, develop their workplace communication skills, build confidence, and create a professional network from the comfort of their homes,” says Sherry. “We provide our students with tools and strategies to become lifelong learners and professionals who will become skilled in navigating future steps in their careers.”
With funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Colleges Ontario supports the delivery of the courses at individual colleges throughout the province.
The online course being offered by Georgian is Accessing the Technology Job Market in Ontario which runs from Jan. 6 to Feb. 14.
All participants must have English skills at an intermediate level (Canadian Language Benchmark 6 to 8) and must also be permanent residents of Canada or protected persons.
For more information or to register please call 705.728.1968, ext. 5329 or email.