Citizenship and Immigration Canada
October 16, 2009

Starting this fall, new immigrants will receive “Language Training Vouchers” as part of a pilot project to encourage newcomers to participate in settlement programs, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

“Speaking English or French is key to finding meaningful employment and successfully integrating into Canadian society,” said Minister Kenney. “Whatever we can do to help newcomers take language training is a step in the right direction.”

Newcomers who are permanent residents and need official language training currently access free training via local settlement service providers.

Under the pilot, 2,000 newcomers, chosen randomly in Ontario, Nova Scotia and Alberta, will be mailed “Language Training Vouchers” that they can take to any settlement service provider of their choice to obtain training based on their needs.

The objective of the pilot is to see if the use of “Language Training Vouchers”, which do not have a cash value, will motivate newcomers to use language training programs funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The pilot project will run for 18 months starting this fall. An evaluation will be undertaken in 2011 to determine the effectiveness of the language training vouchers.

Language ability is one of the biggest determinants of successful integration. Focussing on improving language training and increasing newcomer participation in this key settlement program is an effort to help newcomers find work and get more involved in their community.

Settlement services are an essential part of the Government of Canada’s immigration program. Working with provinces to increase the participation of immigrants in settlement programs is a federal government priority, identified in the 2008 Speech from the Throne.

CIC funds a number of programs that help newcomers settle, adapt and integrate into Canadian society. These programs are delivered in partnership with the provinces, territories and service-providing organizations. Since 2006, the Government of Canada has tripled immigrant settlement funding, after it had been previously frozen for years.

For more information on CIC programs, consult

Reference: Citizenship and Immigration Canada