Government of Yukon

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FOR RELEASE     #09-189
August 14, 2009

Yukon College Workplace Language Training Receives Support

WHITEHORSE – The Advanced Education branch is providing $85,447 through the Community Training Fund to Yukon College to conduct workplace language training, Education Minister Patrick Rouble announced today.

“Language plays an important role in employees’ productivity,” Rouble said. “By supporting workplace language training, Yukon government is assisting employers to support their staff who need help to reach their full potential.”

While the majority of the costs of the program are covered by the Yukon government, participant local employers also contribute. The support of employers is essential to the success of the program. Financial contributions and in some cases, paid leave to participate in the program, demonstrates employers’ support for the program and recognizes the value employers receive in increased employee productivity.

Northerm Windows’ human resources manager Jane Olson has seen first-hand the effect the program can have on that company’s employees.

“Northerm’s foreign workers have greatly improved their language skills and their ability to communicate with co-workers,” Olson said. “They have a better understanding of work orders and they are active participants in a company-wide efficiency improvement project. With their increased knowledge of the English language, some of our workers have obtained first aid certification and their Yukon driver’s licence.”

The program has also been well received by workers. Angus Tsai of Westmark Hotels appreciates how the program has helped him make the transition to working in Yukon.

“The classes not only help me to understand a new language and culture, but also to merge my previous work experience into a new environment,” Tsai said.

This will be the third delivery of workplace language training, which provides language training to any selected employee whose employer wishes to take part in the program.  Participants work to become familiar with workplace culture and master fundamental skills in speaking, writing, problem-solving, document use, and English-based numeracy. There is a special focus on communication problems with colleagues, supervisors and customers or clients. 

“Language is also very important for settling immigrants into the community,” Rouble added. “Workplace language training is also a reflection of government’s support for immigrants as they become Yukoners.”


Emily Younker
Cabinet Communications
Michele Royle
Communications, Education
Ann Bowen
Coordinator, College Relations
Yukon College