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Bridging Programs for Immigrants in Canada

You decided to move to Canada, you know pretty much about your chances and perhaps, you’re ready to work as a taxi driver even despite a fact you are a professional IT engineer. This is true that settling in Canada takes time and it is a totally different country with its own standards and regulations. While you cannot start working in the field you used to work in your home country, many programs are available there to help you find a job you deserve.


What are Bridging Programs About?


Bridging programs can help you if you have education and work experience, and you want to work in your field in Canada. Basically, through these programs newcomers can get their skills updated for the Canadian labor market, often followed by the certifications and licensing necessary to work in Canada. Certain Programs specialize in English training, professional writing skills and other helpful tips for integrating into the Canadian work environment. So bridging programs bridge the gap between foreign credentials for certain occupations and successfully working in that occupation in Canada.


As mentioned above, different programs focus on different professions. For example, there’s a pharmacy bridging program with educational courses by an accredited Canadian institution meant for international pharmacy graduates (IPGs). These programs help them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to qualify under Canadian practice standards.


The programs also include many other topics which are important to IPGs, such as language and communication, Canadian culture, professional behaviors and orientation to the Canadian healthcare system. The study process covers independent study, seminars, role-playing, and simulated work experience. Before submitting an application to this bridging program, candidates must have the results of their training and education equivalency assessment.

There are also IT infrastructure bridging programs. For example, Humber’s IT Infrastructure Bridging Program is a four-month program for newcomers to Canada with education and experience in information technology, computer science or engineering. The program helps newly arrived immigrants gain certain skills in computer networking, information security, installation and configuration of services in a virtual environment focusing on operating systems. In addition, learners have access to an Employment Advisor and Job Developer that allows finding a job within six months of graduation.

 So Why Should You Consider Enrolling in a Bridging Program?


Bridging programs serve a great deal to international professionals who are new to Canada. These programs will help you know more about Canadian occupation-specific practices. In some cases, a licensing agency might decide you need to undergo additional training before you can qualify for a license. If you complete a bridging program, you’ll be able to meet many of those requirements.

Benefits of Bridging Programs


  • Enhances the chances for success in licensing exams, especially, for regulated professions;
  • Enhances awareness of the realities of the Canadian practice setting;
  • Enhances understanding of differences in professional roles, regulatory requirement, and client service relationships;
  • Enhances professional and social interactions for a specific occupation and develops a network within the occupation.


List of Bridging Programs by Occupation



Alberta CPA Bridging Program University of Lethbridge at Calgary allows you to complete the business and accounting courses to enter the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP).


The University of Manitoba Internationally Educated Agrologists Post-Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IEAP) Winnipeg. This program is for those with a background in agronomy, agribusiness, agriculture, economics, animal science, etc.


Athabasca University Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Architecture (PBDA) Athabasca, Alberta Internationally trained students can enroll in this program with “non-program status” if they want to undergo courses needed for the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB).


Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology International Biotechnology Technologist Professionals (IBioTP) Ottawa, Ontario Internationally trained professionals who have science degrees can obtain a three-year advanced diploma in one year with this program.


Community MicroSkills Development Centre Business Services Bridging Project Toronto, Ontario Internationally trained business and information technology professionals can apply for this program to acquire a job in their occupation in Ontario. The program combines individual career planning, job search strategies, workplace, etc.


Immigrants in Trades Training Various locations, British Columbia STEP BC offers this program to newcomers who have some trade experience or those who simply want to begin a new career in the trades.

Early Childcare Educators

Canadian Mothercraft Society Bridge Training in Early Childhood Education (ECE) for Internationally Trained Individuals Toronto, Ontario The program is for internationally trained early childhood educators, preschool and primary school teachers.


Bredin Institute Building Information Modelling (BIM) Program Calgary, Alberta The BIM program is specially designed for those who are looking for jobs as engineering designers and drafters. The program focuses on language training and computer software training to prepare students for jobs in Calgary.

Financial Services

Accessible Community Counselling and Employment Services (ACCES) Financial Services Connections Toronto, Ontario. This three-week program offers international finance professionals the tools they need to find employment in the Canadian financial industry.


Please note the fields of a medical doctor, nursing and pharmacists are listed separately.

Human Resources

Accessible Community Counselling and Employment Services (ACCES) Human Resources Connections Brampton and Toronto, Ontario. Through this program, internationally trained HR professionals can find Ontario employment that their work experience and their education.

Information Technology (IT)

SAIT Polytechnic (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) Workplace Communication for Information Technology Professionals (WCIT) Calgary, Alberta. This program is all about communication and intercultural knowledge. Its key purpose is the combination of core skills and Canadian Language Benchmarks.


The University of Toronto Internationally Trained Lawyers Program (ITLP) Toronto, Ontario Internationally trained lawyers who want to practice in Ontario needed to complete accreditation examinations and get registered with the Law Society of Upper Canada first.

Medical Doctor

University of British Columbia International Medical Graduates Program in Vancouver, British Columbia. This program reaches international medical graduates (IMGs) and prepares them for applying to the UBC Faculty of Medicine Residency Training programs.


Kwantlen Polytechnic University Graduate Nurse, Internationally Educated Re-entry Certificate Langley, British Columbia This program equips internationally educated nurses for practicing in Canada.

Project Management

Accessible Community Counselling and Employment Services (ACCES) Engineering Connections: Project Management Toronto, Ontario. This program is geared for internationally trained engineers who want to work in project management.

Sales and Marketing  

Accessible Community Counselling and Employment Services (ACCES) Sales and Marketing Connections Toronto, Ontario International sales and marketing professionals can take part in this program for job-specific language training.


Accessible Employment Services Supply Chain Connections Internationally trained professionals with a background in supply chains and logistics can benefit from this five-week program. The program provides networking opportunities, job-search strategies, and training in Canadian business culture.

Simon Fraser University Professional Qualification Program for Internationally Educated Teachers Surrey, British Columbia. The program intends to give internationally trained teachers an orientation to the Canadian (specifically British Columbian) school system.


University of Guelph Veterinary Skills, Training and Enhancement Program (VSTEP) Internationally trained veterinarians can participate in this program to become licensed in Ontario and find employment. The program provides training in business skills, medical ethics, and workplace culture.

Make These Programs Work for You


Each of these bridging programs means to meet different needs. It is essential to evaluate your needs and perhaps you might consider changing your career. It can be tough to learn which licenses and certifications you need, however, it might be also challenging to undergo education necessary to complete licensing and certification requirements. While you can benefit from these resources, they each can provide different results for you. You can find it helpful using more than one of these programs. Getting a job in your field might be difficult, but with so many bridging programs designed for newcomers, you can make these programs to alleviate the stress and make them work for you.

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