The Professions North program was established by Laurentian University in 2010, but funding for the program was due to dry up in March.
The three-year grant is a “big relief” for the program's 10 employees, said Stephen Havlovic, the dean of Laurentian's faculty of management, which administers the program.
“I think they were worried about not being able to provide this assistance to people in need of employment and the employers that need this type of assistance,” he said.
The funding is part of a $63.6-million provincewide investment in foreign-trained professionals over the next three years.
“The last thing any of us want to see here is a doctor or an engineer or a nurse doing something that they're not trained for,” said Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci, who made the announcement on Jan. 8.
The program works to bridge the gap between northern employers having difficulty finding skilled workers and the “supply of recent immigrants coming into Canada that had the skills but couldn't find employment,” Havlovic said.
Professions North project manager Michel Racine said the program — which has offices throughout Northern Ontario and one in Toronto — provides assistance such as resume preparation and job search techniques.
It also makes referrals to northern university and college programs which help foreign-trained professionals gain the credentials they need.
Of those helped by Professions North so far, many are mining engineers and IT professionals, Racine said.
“It's not just a regular clerical type job,” he said. “These are highly paying jobs.”
Participants are happy to be working in their fields, he said.
To learn more about Professions North, visit www.professionsnorth.ca.