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Media Release: New Skills Development Fund Program Will Train 50 IEMLTs to Support Shortage

HAMILTON ON (April 20, 2021) – The Medical Laboratory Professionals’ Association (MLPAO) has been awarded funding to train 50 Internationally Educated Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs), who will attend Anderson College’s Medical Laboratory Technology Bridging Program. Supported by Monte McNaughton through the Skills Development Fund, this initiative will better integrate foreign-trained professionals and help to address the shortage of MLTs in Ontario.

With 70% of all medical decisions relying on lab results; an increase in testing demand due to an aging population, expansion of preventative medicine, and new pathogens; and 41% of practicing MLTs in Ontario projected to retire within 2-4 years,[1] MLTs are more critical to our Ontario healthcare system than ever.

“Medical laboratory workers have been the silent heroes of the pandemic and are a crucial part of our healthcare system,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training, and Skills Development. “That is why our government is investing in innovative programs like this, which connect internationally-trained workers with local employers, as part of our plan to stay open and build a more resilient healthcare system for generations to come.”

“The solution to the medical laboratory technologist shortages is not a simple one, but this funding from the provincial government is a great first step to begin solving this issue,” said Michelle Hoad, Chief Executive Officer of MLPAO. “The immediate need for MLTs is dire in our province and the introduction of a bridging program for internationally educated MLTs will expedite the expansion of this workforce. Anderson College has an excellent track record for producing qualified medical lab professionals. This funding is a great fit for a great academic institution.”

“Many newcomers have extensive medical laboratory knowledge but simply lack Canadian education and credentials; the challenge is that educational program wait lists for them are exceedingly long due to the lack of seats available,” said Rose Elia, Chief Operating Officer of Anderson College. “This funding will directly support our MLT Bridging Program, preparing these highly qualified professionals to write their certification exams, will reduce wait times and bolster our healthcare industry and patient care.”

“This investment will have a very positive impact on international trained MLT professionals and Ontario’s MLT work force,” said Heather Yang, Chief Executive Officer of Anderson College. “We are very grateful for the Ontario government’s timely support and financial commitment to finding innovative solutions for the pressing challenges faced by our healthcare system.”

Anderson College’s MLT Bridging Program is available for eligible internationally educated medical laboratory technologists. There are 200 seats available within the MLT Bridging Program annually, 50 of which are available for SDF-funded students. The eligibility process will include three stages: pre-assessment, prior learning assessment (PLA) application, and document and fee gathering, processed through the Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Sciences (CSMLS).

To apply for this new SDF-supported MLT Bridging Program, please email

The Medical Laboratory Professionals' Association of Ontario is a non-profit health professional organization founded in 1963 with over 4,000 members across the province. The MLPAO represents the interests of Medical Laboratory Professionals in Ontario with government, regulatory bodies, educational institutions, health care professionals and other stakeholders.

For over 40 years Anderson College has been a partner to thousands of students overcoming career challenges and transitioning to the next phase of their lives. With five locations in Toronto, Mississauga, and Hamilton, and one in British Columbia, it is recognized for its high-calibre faculty, career-focused education, hands-on, real-life career training, and supportive culture. For more information visit

Skill Development Fund Ontario offers funding to support innovative, market-driven solutions to help people and businesses make it through the pandemic successfully, with the intention of initiating lasting improvements to cross-sector employment and training in Ontario. Media Contact: For further information, please contact the MLPAO Team at


[1] CMLTO, “Annual Report 2020,” October 2021, pages 15-16, assumes retirement eligibility at 55.

MLPAO - SDF - IEMLT Bridging Program
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