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Adult Education and Training

There are many opportunities for adults to build on their education or skills training. Here are some important points to think about:

  • Formal education can be earned at Universities and Colleges once high school (or grade 12) is completed. These are called post-secondary schools and cost money to attend. Scholarships, bursaries and student funding can help with the cost of school.
  • If you have not finished your high school education, both school boards in the "Schools" section offer ESL (English as a Second Language) classes, Continuing Education courses, and other courses for adults.
  • There are also public and private training centres to improve your skills for work.

Internationally-Trained Professionals

Are you a trained professional coming from another country?

You can get your non-Canadian education/work experience assessed to find out the Canadian equivalent. This can be a long process, but there are many resources will make this process easier.

For information and referrals to help you prepare for work, find out more about foreign credentials recognition at The Foreign Credentials Referral Office.

If you are an internationally trained professional in a regulated field, visit the Office of the Fairness Commissioner to see the list of regulatory bodies in Ontario.

For free, one-on-one counselling to help with the accreditation process, start by contacting the New Canadians Centre by phone (905) 377-8100 or e-mail. Bring all your education documents including degree certificates and diplomas to your first appointment.

Immigrant Access Fund (IAF)

An IAF micro loan can help you if you are struggling to pay for the costs of your Canadian licensing requirements or training.

Micro loans of up to $10,000 are available to immigrants who do any type of work. People who receive IAF micro loans are both skilled workers and professionals. Visit the IAF website to know more about the IAF's eligibility criteria and How to Apply for a loan.

Ontario Bridge Training

Ontario Bridge Training programs help skilled newcomers get their license or certificate in their profession or trade. In general training programs provide internationally trained persons:

  • an assessment of their education and skills
  • clinical or workplace experience
  • skills training or targeted academic training
  • preparation for a license or certification examination
  • occupation-related language training
  • individual learning plans to identify any added training needed

You might also qualify for the Ontario Bridging Participant Assistance Program (OBPAP) which provides bursaries of up to $5,000 to cover direct education costs (tuition, books and equipment) for internationally trained professionals attending bridge training programs.

Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

The following four organizations are designated by CIC to provide educational credential reports for purposes of immigrating to Canada under the Federal Skilled Worker Program:

Colleges and Universities

Colleges and universities offer a wide range of full-time and part-time programs. The programs may be two to four years for professional degrees or short, three-month continuing education courses. 

Applying to College as an Immigrant Student

All programs in Ontario's colleges are open to immigrants, but you will be required to present proof of landing. Visit the dedicated webpage at Colleges Ontario to know about requirements that are specific to immigant applicants. 

Most schools, colleges and universities will ask you to prove your level of English. There are a number of English tests that are available, including TOEFL, IELTS and CELPIP. Ask the Admissions Department of the school you are applying to what type of English examination they require for new students.

Contact Information

Fleming College - Cobourg Campus
1005 Elgin Street West, Suite 300, Cobourg
Phone: 1-866-353-6464

Willis Business College - Cobourg
1111 Elgin Street West (Northumberland Mall), Cobourg
Phone: (905) 372-8978

Loyalist College - Belleville
Wallbridge - Loyalist Road, Belleville
Phone: (613) 969-1913 or 1-888-569-2547 ext. 2204

Durham College - Oshawa Campus
2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa
Phone: (905) 721-2000

The Community Training & Development Centre
300 Alexandria Drive
Cobourg, ON
K9A 4R5
(905) 372-9967

Trent University - Peterborough Campus
1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough
Phone: (705) 748-1011 

Trent University - Oshawa
2000 Simcoe Street North, Suite 1210, Oshawa
Phone: (905) 721-3003 or (905) 443-6500

University of Ontario Institute of Technology
2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa
Phone: (905) 721-8668

Distance Education

You might also consider doing distance education and online training. Contact North, Ontario's Distance Education and Training Network has an office in Port Hope. They offer many online and distance college and university programs.

Apprenticeship

An apprentice earns money while learning a skilled trade. Apprenticeships are available in many trades like hairstyling, cooking, sewing, welding, carpentry, baking, and brick laying. An apprentice receives on-the-job training with a qualified employer for most of their apprenticeship, but will also spend about 10% of time in classroom training.

To become an apprentice, you must first find an employer who is willing to train you. To find out how to go about this process, visit the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities website.

English Language Training

To improve your English language skills , you can attend classes in the area. Talk to a settlement counsellor at the New Canadians Centre to see if you qualify for LINC or Language Instruction for Newcomers in Canada.

The New Canadians Centre in Cobourg also offers weekly English Conversation Classes. The classes are free and open to all. The New Canadians Centre may also be able to help you find a free tutor. A tutor is a volunteer who will work with you one-on-one.