Bridging programs offer a chance for immigrants to start or restart their careers by gaining the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in Canada.

Welcome to Bridging Programs MNLCT 2023-2024

Home » Welcome to Bridging Programs MNLCT 2023-2024

Join us at the Mennonite New Life Centre and access our community programs and Bridging Programs for successful settlement and integration. We offer a welcoming and inclusive space for all newcomers and Neighbours to connect, share experiences, and support each other. Let’s work together for a more just and compassionate society. 

In this article, you will find answers to common questions about the bridging programs that we offer.  

General questions

What are bridging programs for newcomers to Canada? 

Bridging programs are designed to support internationally trained professionals in their pursuit of meaningful employment in the local job market. These programs offer newcomers an opportunity to bridge the gap between their existing skills and experience and the requirements of the Canadian work culture. 

To appreciate the benefits of a bridging program, imagine yourself as a brain library with shelves representing different periods of your job and personal development. When you relocate, you notice that your brain library has suddenly gone empty. Thus, bridging program fills gaps in your education, training, and work experience adjusting to a new language, culture, and trade. It respects their expertise while helping them adapt to new rules and regulations.

What does bridging mean in education, and what is the difference with other programs of colleges or universities?

Bridging programs are designed to fill the unique gaps most immigrant professionals have, while respecting and acknowledging the existing professional knowledge and experience. 

These programs are shorter, more intensive and much cheaper than other alternatives, because the government subsidizes them, and they are not made to make profit from participants. 

On the other hand, academic programs are customized to local students. Purely academic programs are intended to construct a new shelf at the top of your library, not to fill empty places on current shelves. MNLCT‘s bridge training programs acknowledge that students already have professional expertise and that what they need is a program to assist them fill the gaps, not one to teach them what they already know. 

How does the bridging program work in Ontario?  

The Ontario Bridge Training Program (OBTP) is a vital initiative that supports internationally trained immigrants (ITIs) in their efforts to secure employment in their field or a related field while ensuring their existing skills and education are not duplicated. 

The program is designed for regulated and non-regulated high-skill jobs, offering ITIs extensive help as they handle the challenging process of obtaining work in their sector in Ontario. Universities and public colleges, occupational regulating authorities, community agencies, employer associations, and for-profit organizations are examples of service providers. 

What is the Ontario Bridge Training Program and how is it helping internationally trained professionals find jobs in their field?  

The Ontario Bridge Training Program (OBTP) aims to connect internationally trained professionals with in-demand jobs in their communities through specialized programs that help newcomers match and enhance their skills and experience to meet the needs of local employers. The program has committed significant resources over a period of three years to achieve this goal.

What is MNLCT and how is it helping newcomer professionals find meaningful employment in the Canadian labour market?

We are an organization that provides bridging programs for newcomer professionals, offering them an understanding of Canadian work culture, further training and education, career coaching, and networking opportunities to help them develop a career plan. Through partnerships with employers, professional associations, universities, and regulatory institutions, MNLCT helps newcomers secure a position that matches their education, credentials, and experience.  

With a high social return on investment, MNLCT’s bridging programs have historically resulted in more than 85% of graduates being employed in their chosen fields, with improved professional networks, subject matter expertise, communication skills, and confidence in applying for jobs and attending interviews. 

What bridging programs does MNLCT offer? 

MNCLT offers our programs online, and you can participate from any city in Ontario.  

Who is eligible for the bridge training programs? 

To qualify for the MNLCT bridge training programs: 

  • Be an Ontario resident over 18 with foreign postsecondary education
  • English ability at or above CLB Level 7 
  • Some programs require job experience in your field.  
  • Legal immigration status as refugee claimants, permanent residents, and naturalized Canadian citizens.  
  • Computer literacy: strong computer, Office suite, video conferencing 
  • Personal Readiness: highly motivated and able to commit 
  • International students or temporary foreign employees are not eligible. 

Immigration Status

I received my citizenship a few months ago. Am I qualified? 

Yes. Please note that there are other cases that may be helpful in identifying your eligibility.

  • Visitors with a visiting visa are not eligible. You may apply after you have received the document stating that your PR has been approved. 
  • Naturalized citizens are eligible, but not Canadian citizens born in Canada. Naturalized citizens are those born outside of Canada who obtained Canadian citizenship in Canada. 
Can I participate in the program while traveling outside of Canada? 

Yes, if you are an Ontario resident and are temporarily traveling outside of Canada while still residing in Ontario. If you live outside of Ontario, you will be unable to participate in the program. 

My husband has a student visa; thus, I have a work permit. Do I meet the requirements? 

No. This program is not intended for temporary residents. You must be a Permanent Resident, a naturalized Canadian, a refugee applicant with a valid work visa, a traditional refugee, or have CUAET status to qualify. 

Language Assessment

Banner Free English Class Ontario
What exactly is CLB?

CLB is an abbreviation for Canadian Language Benchmarks, which is a descriptive measure of English language proficiency. It establishes a single Canadian framework for characterizing and measuring English communication for instructional and other purposes, enabling a consistent foundation for the development of programs, curriculum, resources, and assessment tools throughout Canada. 

I don’t have a CLB language evaluation. How do I obtain one? What is the cost? 

Language testing is provided at no cost to qualifying candidates. You may get more information about this free CLB certification at the information sessions.

Can I participate in bridging programs with a CLB 5?

No, you don’t. CLB 7 is the minimum prerequisite to participate in any of our bridging programs. Other programs, such as HOPES, are available to newcomers with CLB5. A CLB certification is valid for two years. 

Do I still need to present language evaluation proof if I have an English education or a Canadian diploma? 

Yes. If you were born outside of Canada and wish to participate in a bridge program, you must complete the CLB assessment since the funder, Employment Ontario, requires it. 


May I join the bridging program despite a gap in my work experience? 

Yes. The condition for qualifying is at least two years of experience outside of Canada. 

Is prior experience required before enrolling? 

Yes. For the BREM, BEMC, BESIP, and C-Women programs, two years of work experience outside of Canada is necessary.

I was informed I need to disclose my Social Insurance Number (SIN), although this should only be given to employers. Is it okay to give this information? 

To work in Canada and access government services and benefits, you must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

  • Employment Ontario funds the OBTP (Ontario Bridge Training Program), and a valid SIN number is necessary to register the application in the government system. 
  • If your SIN or work permit number has expired, please contact Service Canada to get it renewed.  
Where do I go to get my credentials evaluated? 

You can contact any of the approved centers listed below: 

Tuition Loans

Banner fist Day in Canada MNLCT
Is there any organization or program that will assist me in paying my tuition? What financial assistance is available? 

Yes, we can help with these options:

  • You may ask about Windmill Microlending’s loans by contacting them.  
  • Participants in the BEMC can apply to OBPAP.  
  • If you are on Ontario Works, please address the tuition price with your case worker. 
Can I return my loan once I’ve started working? 

Loans are made available to organizations other than MNLCT, and each has its own set of regulations. Please enquire about the payment process with the organization/program that supplied you with the loan. 

Next info session about Bridging Programs

List Available Bridging Programs 2023

FAQ about Another Bridging Program

Bridge to Employment in Media, Marketing, and Communication (BEMC)
Bridge to Employment in Services for Immigrant Populations (BESIP)
Bridge to Registration and Employment in Mental Health (BREM)
Bridge for Immigrant Women Reskilling into IT Coding Professions (C-Women)
turquoise leafs
turquoise arches
turquoise leafs

"The Mennonite New Life Centre and its BEMC program came in very handy for me at the lowest ebb of my life by providing a lifeline and I am eternally grateful for that,”

What’s Your Story

Let us know how we can help you
green leafs