ARCHIVED – Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada – Client profile and performance indicators


The Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program provides basic language training to adult permanent residents in one of Canada’s official languages to facilitate their social, cultural and economic integration into Canada. [ Note 1 ] By developing linguistic communication skills through LINC, immigrants and refugees are better able to function in Canadian society and contribute to the economy.

The importance of official language knowledge in the Canadian immigration context is well documented and, on average, official language literacy levels of immigrants are below that of Canadian-born individuals with similar characteristics. According to the 2003 International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS), about 60% of immigrants were below Level 3 in prose literacy — the desired threshold for coping with the increasing skill demands of a knowledge society. This compares to 37% of the Canadian-born population. Research has shown that official language knowledge is a key component in terms of immigrant integration in Canadian society and is particularly important in areas such as labour market integration. [ Note 2 ]

For this report, special tabulations from two administrative data sources were combined in order to get consistent time series data that is used to develop a demographic profile and performance indicators for LINC. The two administrative data sources are 1) the Immigration Contribution Accountability Measurement System (iCAMS) and 2) the History of Assessments, Referrals and Training system (HARTs).

The iCAMS data includes information from Service Provider Organizations (SPOs) from Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Territories. The HARTs data includes information from SPOs in Ontario. Due to alternative funding arrangements with CIC, Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia do not report data through the Immigration Contribution Accountability Measurement System (iCAMS) and are therefore excluded from all calculations in this analysis. [ Note 3 ] In addition, the number of clients in training and competing courses is consistent with data runs complete through February 2009. There exists a possibility that the most recent LINC training and completions data from all SPOs has not been captured in the current cut of iCAMS and HARTS data and therefore client counts in the most recent years may be understated.

1. In order to access LINC training, clients must be of legal school-leaving age within their applicable province or territory. Also note that once permanent residents become Canadian citizens, they are no longer eligible for LINC training.

2. A number of studies have found that English language knowledge is a key factor affecting economic outcomes of immigrants. These include: Baker and Benjamin (1994), Frenette and Morissette (2003), Picot and Hou (2003), Aydemir and Skuterud (2004, 2005), Picot and Sweetman (2006), Ferrer, Green and Riddell (2006), Hawthorne (2006).

3. Note that data used in this analysis corresponds to all reporting SPOs in the iCAMS and HARTs data systems. There may instances where SPOs have not reported LINC training in iCAMS and HARTs for various reasons and information from these SPOs are therefore excluded from the analysis.

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