What are Bridging Programs?
Bridging programs are designed to “bridge” your international education, training and experience with access to the supports you need to get a license or certificate to work in your profession or trade in Ontario. These programs can help you if you already had a career in your home country and would like to work in the same or similar field in Canada. Bridge training programs can be useful for both regulated and non-regulated jobs and are often run by universities and colleges, occupational regulatory bodies, employers, and community organizations.
Bridging programs vary in length depending on the service provider and can be held in class, online or a combination of the two. Each program is different and may provide you with:
- An assessment of education and skills
- Skills training or targeted academic training
- A clinical or job placement to help you get Canadian workplace experience
- Mentoring or networking with employers
- License or certification exam preparation
- Language training for your trade or profession
- Individual learning plans to identify any added training you may need
- Employment supports, like resume preparation, labour market orientation, mock interviews, job search supports, etc.
You must be at least 18 years old and a resident of Ontario. You must have international postsecondary education or international work experience and possess a valid Canadian work permit. The minimum CLB English language requirement usually varies between CLB 5 and CLB 8.
You must also be one of the following:
- refugee claimant with a valid work permit
- permanent resident
- Convention refugee
- Canadian citizen
Service providers may have additional eligibility requirements.
International students and temporary foreign workers are not eligible.
Fees may apply and the amount varies and is established by the service provider. You may be able to receive some financial support:
- The Ontario Bridge Training Bursary is a bursary to help cover the costs of eligible bridge training programs. You do not have to pay back this bursary.
- The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a financial aid program that helps eligible internationally trained professionals pay for college or university. Note that not all bridging programs are eligible for OSAP.
- There are options such as Windmill Microlending and other loan programs that can help internationally trained professionals pay for bridging programs
How to register
- Contact a service provider to discuss your experience and goals.
- The service provider will give you the steps to follow to help you continue to work in your profession or trade.
Local Bridging Programs in Windsor-Essex:
Competency-Bridging Program of Study for Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN)
- Service Provider: University of Windsor
- For more information visit: https://www.uwindsor.ca/continuingeducation/ien
Leadership and Management for Internationally Educated Francophone Professionals
- Service Provider: Collège Boréal
- For more information visit: https://www.collegeboreal.ca/en/bridging-program-management-leadership
Find Bridging Programs in Ontario
- Ontario Bridge Training – A list of bridge training programs supported by the Ontario government. From the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration website.
- CanadaInfoNet – Provides mentoring resources for professionals, business and tradespeople who are new to Canada or are considering immigrating to Canada.
- Working in Ontario – Information about getting licensed in your profession or trade, bridging programs, credential assessment and more. From the Ontario Immigration website.
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Taking Your Job Search Online is developed in partnership with South Essex Community Council and funded by United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County and the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund.