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October 31, 2007
For immediate release


Development and Technology

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Immigrants to Prince Edward Island will soon have greatly-improved access to English language training.

The provincial government, through Island Investment Development Inc., is purchasing 150 full-time English language instruction seats from two educational institutions; 75 seats from Holland College and 75 from Study Abroad Canada.

The two schools offer English as an Additional Language programs for students wishing to improve their English for personal or job-related purposes. The programs are presented by certified teachers. Students develop well-rounded English skills which enable them to express themselves in everyday and academic situations.

“As Prince Edward Island continues to see an increase in the number of immigrants coming to our province, it is important for government to work with schools and the private sector to offer services that entice newcomers to stay,” said Premier Robert Ghiz. “This new cooperative effort will welcome newcomers to our province and assist them as they get accustomed to their new home.”

Development and Technology Minister Richard Brown said immigrants to the province are playing an increasingly-important role in the Island’s economy.

“We have to do everything possible to assist these Islanders by choice when they arrive in Prince Edward Island,” he said. “We are facing some labour-force challenges which I believe can be alleviated by increasing the number of immigrants coming to our province. Initiatives such as this will help us reach our goals.”

Over the past year, the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada has experienced a dramatic increase in registration. In 2006, 358 newcomers registered. As of October 30, 2007, the Association has registered 828 newcomers and it is estimated that more than 1,000 will register by the end of 2007.

"With the large number of newcomers arriving on Prince Edward Island and the increased demand for language instruction, there was a clear need for more language seats,” said Andrew Moase, Intake Worker/Information Officer, PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada. “The provincial government should be commended for addressing this issue and for providing 150 seats for English language training. These seats will go a long way to help integrate newcomers into our community."

Citizenship and Immigration Canada currently provides funding for 108 seats through the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada Program (LINC). However, due to the increase in immigration numbers, demand for English language training continues to grow.

More than 250 students are enrolled in Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada classes at Holland College and Study Abroad Canada. Several more are expected to begin training in 2008.

Media Contact: Ron Crozier
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