OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 5, 2010) - Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney today announced a new program to help newcomers gain valuable Canadian work experience, a significant hurdle for many immigrants.
"Newcomers are key to building a stronger Canada," said Minister Kenney. "The Federal Internship for Newcomers program helps immigrants use their skills in the Canadian labour market as they begin their new lives in Canada."
This program offers newcomers the opportunity to acquire temporary Canadian work experience in fields relevant to their skills and experience. Newcomers can benefit from work placements within the federal government, which facilitates a smoother integration into the Canadian labour market for program participants.
"Our government is committed to helping newcomers succeed," said Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. "This program is an example of how we are taking action so that newcomers can maximize their talents and contribute to Canada's long-term economic success."
Over the past two years, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) piloted two similar internship initiatives. This year, in addition to CIC and HRSDC, several other federal departments and agencies are taking part in the expanded initiative, including: Health Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, Natural Resources Canada, and the Canada Border Services Agency. Compared to last year, these additional organizations represent a quadrupling of the number of federal organizations offering opportunities to newcomers. Besides these organizations, a number of other departments and agencies have already confirmed their interest in participating in the program.
Over the past year, CIC and HRSDC were able to extend opportunities to 29 interns. This year, the number has more than doubled, with over 60 interns participating in the fall intake.
In addition to the policy, program and administrative positions offered last year, new internship positions have been added in fields such as finance, translation, communication and science.
The expansion of this program follows up on a recommendation by the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. In addition to the departments and agencies that are ready to hire interns this fall, many others have expressed interest in a future intake. As the new program gains popularity, it is expected that the numbers will only increase as more federal organizations join the program. CIC and participating departments and agencies are partnering with World University Services Canada, Local Agencies Serving Immigrants, Hire Immigrants Ottawa, and Service Intégration Travail Outaouais to select interns