Courses at the USask Language Centre (in the background) cater to the needs of Saskatchewan’s international community. (Photo: University of Saskatchewan)

New USask partnership caters to immigrant and newcomer business owners’ and employees’ career development

SASKATOON – A new partnership between the University of Saskatchewan (USask) Language Centre and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC) will support SCC members and their employees by delivering English courses geared toward professional development.

Through the Language Centre’s English for Business Purposes course, participants across the province will learn language and presentation skills that can help them achieve career goals and thrive professionally in Saskatchewan’s and in Canada’s business environment.

“The Language Centre has a long history of innovation and community connection guided by its strategic goals. This partnership supporting our newcomer business community is to be celebrated and provides evidence of the responsive programming from the Language Centre,” said Jay Wilson, USask interim vice-provost teaching, learning, and student experience. “Language development is an important transitional step for individuals looking to improve interpersonal communication skills and further promote their businesses.”

The Language Centre will offer the English for Business Purposes course along with additional courses to suit learners’ unique needs starting in January 2022. Classes include personalized tutoring services, private pronunciation classes, specialized workshops, spoken English classes and basic English classes. The two- to three-month courses, which are open to anyone who wants to improve their English especially in a business setting, will be offered online, meaning participants will be able to study conveniently from anywhere in the province. Registration is open and upcoming courses are listed on the SCC webpage or through ptesl.usask.ca.

“For many immigrant business owners, language skills are integral to growing their business, making connections in the community, and ultimately staying in Saskatchewan long-term,” said Steve McLellan, CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. “As a chamber of commerce, we want to represent all businesses in our community, and we want to see them succeed. This partnership helps us build on our vision of making Saskatchewan the best place to live, work and invest.”

USask is a proud member of the SCC, and the two organizations continue to collaborate on identifying and meeting the training needs of the increasingly diversified local business community. The partnership with SCC builds on the Language Centre’s ongoing commitment to community engagement. Since 1980, the Language Centre has supported both the broader community and students seeking degrees at USask, with English language programs that have helped people succeed in their professions and university studies. 

In its efforts to support immigration transition for its members, the SCC has also recently launched Journey, a video featuring immigrant business owners from across Saskatchewan discussing their experiences adjusting to life and doing business in the province. The video includes subtitles in a variety of languages including Tagalog, Mandarin, Urdu, Punjabi, Vietnamese, Spanish, Russian and Arabic.

The partnership between the SCC and USask Language Centre is part of a suite of programs that Saskatchewan’s network of chambers is building through the Training and Employment Network to provide clear and locally co-ordinated pathways for workers to be identified, as well as to present learning opportunities that enhance skills for employers. 

To find out more about the USask Language Centre and how to access training programs, please visit learnenglish.usask.ca.

The SCC’s Journey video can be found on YouTube or through the SCC’s webpage at saskchamber.com.


For more information, contact:

Victoria Dinh
USask Media Relations

Denise Hauta
University of Saskatchewan Language Centre

Steve McLellan
Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce

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