Language Tests For Immigrant Workers

As of July 1, low-and medium-skilled workers applying to provincial immigration nominee programs will undergo mandatory English or French language testing to be paid by the applicant or his prospective employer.

By Jason Warick, The StarPhoenix

Saskatoon — Thousands of new immigrant workers will require basic language skills, federal Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenny has announced.

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday at Morris Industries Ltd., Kenny said low-and medium-skilled workers applying to the provincial immigration nominee program will undergo mandatory English or French language testing. The cost of the tests will be paid by the applicant or his or her prospective employer. The changes take effect July 1 and will not affect workers already approved before then.

More than 38,000 workers and their families came to Canada last year through the program, which gives the provinces and territories a greater say in immigration in a bid to fill gaps in their local labour markets.

It’s also helped spread out the immigrant population as more and more people have been choosing to settle outside traditionally popular provinces like Ontario and British Columbia. An economic boom in Saskatchewan, for example, has seen the program grow to 5,354 immigrants in 2010 compared to 173 in 2003.

Read more here.