LINC Works

Improving Newcomer Workplace Readiness

LINC Works

Improving Newcomer Workplace Readiness:
Essential Skills Embedded in the National Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program

The purpose of this project is to integrate essential skills, entry-level certifications, and facilitated work placements into programming for newcomers to better prepare them to enter the workforce and retain employment.

The project focuses on LINC learners at CLB levels 3 and 5, and will be applicable for various delivery types including rural deliveries as well as other English as a Second Language (ESL) programs for newcomers.

The project seeks to address identified gaps around essential skills upgrading and deliberate preparation of newcomers at lower CLB to facilitate their finding, keeping, and advancing in jobs in the Canadian job market both in terms of resources and teacher preparation. Language training providers recognize this gap but do not have the training or supports to meet this need on a broad scale.

Although there are ESL materials to support language development, there is no substantive body of essential skills collateral that specifically addresses transferable skills while also meeting the CLB outcomes/PBLA task requirements in existing programming.

Additionally, within some rural and small urban centres, there is a lack of qualified ESL teachers, which hinders the community’s ability to develop and use resources to address the essential skills gaps within their community.

To address these gaps, we are proposing a nationally replicable model for embedding essential skills within existing LINC programming, thereby supporting ESL learners in urban and rural programs to improve their e to get and keep jobs, and adapt and succeed at work. This project incorporates entry level job certifications and the option of a work placement. This project has a significant research component to help inform the value of incorporating ES into newcomers programming.

The proposed project has four parts:
  1. The development of essential skills learning modules for CLB 3 and 5 learners that can be used in LINC classes.

  2. The development of material and a framework to embedded essential skills upgrading and content relevant to achieve Canadian workplace certificates (e.g. WHMIS, first aid, food safety) to increase the marketability and workforce readiness of CLB 5 learners in LINC programs.

  3. The incorporation of a facilitated work placement in CLB 5 programming to help newcomers gain experience and increased marketability.

  4. Revise and update the document Relating CLB to Essential Skills: A Comparative Framework.

The project has an advisory group to ensure there is ongoing input from pan-Canadian stakeholders.

This project has a strong research component looking at immediate and intermediate outcomes. With the project focusing on CLB 3 and 5 learners, achieving employment is not a goal for all components but progress along the continuum towards employment is looked at as well.

In partnership with:


Lisa Rochman, Associate Dean
Faculty of Foundational, Career, & Intercultural Studies
NorQuest College

Kim Chaba, Instructor
Faculty of Foundational, Career, & Intercultural Studies
NorQuest College





LINC at NorQuest College