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Hamilton Food Industry, new Canadians to benefit from language training

Hamilton Food Industry, new Canadians to benefit from language training

YMCA Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford will receive $250,000 from the province to provide free job-focused language training to 80 newcomers interested in, or currently employed in the food manufacturing sector. Starting this fall, the project will include a mix of in-person and online training where participants will learn sector-specific language skills, workplace health and safety and gain an awareness of Canadian workplace culture to start careers and succeed in the industry. The program is being delivered in partnership with Mohawk College and Food and Beverage Ontario.

The grant is part of a $7.7 million program in language and skills training supports to help 2,700 newcomers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic start new jobs. Through 19 programs across Ontario, newcomers will gain the skills they need to work in food manufacturing, healthcare, web development, and other in-demand sectors.

Said Lily Lumsden, Senior Regional Manager, YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford. “This project aims to support newcomers and support Food and Beverage Manufacturers with gaining and retaining a skilled labour force. The COVID pandemic has highlighted the critical need of workers being able to understand and follow strict health and safety requirements.”

New immigrants were among the hardest hit by COVID with over 34,000 losing their jobs. Through these programs across our province, the government is focused on ensuring new immigrants get the support they need.

“I am so pleased that this investment will target newcomers in Hamilton who are working in or interested in employment in the food manufacturing sector,” which is one of Hamilton’s fastest-growing industrial sectors,” said Donna Skelly, MPP for Flamborough-Glanbrook.” “

New immigrants were among the hardest hit by COVID with an employment loss of 12% among recent immigrants compared to only 4% for the Canadian-born population.

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  • While language skills are important, the YMCA has not effectively trained workers in their workers rights.

    Go to any Ontario Emoloyment Centre, no information about your rights. No pamphlets, it is left to the individual who if they lack language skills may not be able to inform themselves.

    I can never forget the young woman who wearing a scarf was strangled when the lose scarf got caught in the machinery. She was a temp worker and we know that temp and precarious workers really have no protection.

    Is not better to advocate with those communities to design better head coverings that are acceptable for religious purposes while ensuring worker rights and safety.

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