Jobs: Unlocking The Future - Business Language Is Key

by Dallas Gonsalves

Project Administrator, Enhanced Language Training for Immigrant Women, Toronto District School Board

According to the 2006 census Toronto has a population of 2,476,565 and an immigrant population of 1,237,720. With half of Toronto’s population represented by newcomers it is not surprising that a similar proportion of Toronto’s residents do not indicate English as their mother tongue (1,212,840).

So we certainly have a large newcomer population, all sharing the same experience:

  • You feel invisible.
  • Your voice is unheard.
  • You have adequate conversational language skills but have trouble integrating into the Canadian workplace.

Your skills, employment contributions and needs should not go unnoticed and ignored just because you do not have the business English skills that are needed in the Canadian work place. You are a vital contributor to the social and economic development of our country.

What must you do to convince employers of your value?

Technical language training and workplace communication skills will help you succeed in your career and be valued and appreciated.

Recently the Toronto District School Board received funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada to offer sector-specific Enhanced Language Training (ELT) programs to newcomers throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Sectors include Professional Engineering, Accounting, Financial Services, Administration, Customer Service, Retail, Sales & Marketing, Engineering, Information Technology, and Hairstyling. Among these ELT programs that focus on specific market sectors, Administration, Customer Service and Retail are geared to immigrant women only.

These programs are aimed to increase the business English skills and technical language proficiency of all participants. You will progress through an eight week business language program which includes specific training from industry professionals and certified ESL teachers.

What is really neat about these programs is that once you complete the eight weeks of business language instruction you will benefit from a work placement! Work placements are an excellent way to introduce you to the work place. Thanks to the employers who take the time to train you to work in their industry, you have a good chance of finding full time employment in the occupation you have been trained for – sometimes even with the company where you have your work placement.

For more information on the Enhanced Language Training Programs offered by the Toronto District School Board, please call:

  • ELT for Employment – 416 395-3669
  • Financial Services – 416 395-8270
  • Hairstyling – 416 395-3889
  • Immigrant Women – 416 396-4436