VANCOUVER, Nov. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - In his keynote speech today at the B.C.
Business Summit, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment
and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, challenged
employers to seek out Canadians and newcomers to address their skills
shortages. New Canadians represent a valuable source of skilled labour
from which employers in Canada can recruit.
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs and economic growth.
We are committed to fixing the skills mismatch in Canada where we have
too many Canadians without jobs and too many jobs without Canadians,"
said Minister Kenney. "Canadians, including newcomers, must always be
first in line for available jobs. Our government is working with
provinces and territories to improve foreign credential recognition so
that new Canadians can put their skills to work sooner."
In 2007, our government established the Foreign Credentials Referral
Office to provide internationally trained workers with information and
services for credential assessment so they can find work in their
fields quickly. Since 2009, internationally trained individuals in
14 occupations can have their qualifications assessed within one year,
anywhere in Canada, so they can put their knowledge and skills to work
Our government also introduced the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans
Pilot to help internationally trained workers offset the costs of the
foreign credential recognition process.
To date, agreements have been signed with nine organizations across the
country to deliver these loans. The federal government continues to
partner with the provinces and territories to improve foreign
Furthermore, Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes new measures to connect
Canadians to available jobs by equipping them with the skills and
training they need. These include the Canada Job Grant, opportunities
for apprentices and supporting under-represented groups.
For more information on foreign credential recognition, please consult: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/credential_recognition/index.shtml
To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit actionplan.gc.ca.
The Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program and
The Foreign Credential Recognition Program improves the integration of internationally trained workers into the
workforce. The Program works with and provides funding to provinces,
territories and other stakeholders—including regulatory bodies,
post-secondary institutions, sector councils and employers—to implement
projects that facilitate the assessment and recognition of
qualifications acquired in other countries.
Established in May 2007, the Foreign Credentials Referral Office provides information and referral services, both in Canada and
overseas, to help internationally trained workers have their
credentials assessed quickly. Visit www.cic.gc.ca to learn more about available online services.
Also, in 2005 the Government of Canada launched the Internationally Educated Health Professionals Initiative. This initiative works with provinces, territories and stakeholders to
enable more internationally educated health professionals put their
skills to work in Canada's health system.
In February 2012, the Government introduced the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot Project. Delivered in cooperation with community organizations, this pilot is
helping internationally trained professionals cover the costs of having
their credentials recognized, so they can find jobs that best suit
their skills and experience.
Canada Job Grant
The Canada Job Grant will provide $15,000 or more per person, including
a maximum $5,000 federal contribution and matching contributions from
provinces, territories and employers. The Grant will be flexible enough
to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, in all industries and
regions. Businesses with a plan to train Canadians for an existing job
or a better job will be eligible to apply for a Canada Job Grant once
implemented in 2014.
Upon full implementation, nearly 130 000 Canadians each year are
expected to be able to access the training they need for available
The Canada Job Grant is strongly supported by employers and other
The Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO
Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
Canadian Construction Association
Information Technology Association of Canada
Opportunities for Apprentices
To further reduce barriers to accreditation in the skilled trades in
Canada and increase opportunities for apprentices, the Government will
work with provinces and territories to harmonize requirements for
apprentices, and examine the use of practical tests as a method of
assessment, in targeted skilled trades. This will support more
apprentices in completing their training and encourage mobility across
In addition, the Government will support the use of apprentices in
federal construction and maintenance contracts. The Government will
also ensure that funds transferred to provinces and territories through
the Investment in Affordable Housing Program support the use of
The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant is a $1,000 taxable cash grant for
apprentices who complete the first and/or second level of their
apprenticeship program in a designated Red Seal trade, to a maximum of
$2,000. The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant was announced as part of
The Apprenticeship Completion Grant is a $2,000 taxable cash grant for
eligible apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship
training and receive their journeyperson certification in a designated
Red Seal trade. The Apprenticeship Completion Grant was announced as
part of Canada's Economic Action Plan 2009.
As a result of these grants, apprentices who complete their
apprenticeship training in a designated Red Seal trade and become
certified journeypersons could be eligible to receive up to $4,000. To
date, the Government has issued over a half-billion dollars in
apprenticeship grants for Canadians.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program
On April 29, to strengthen and improve the Temporary Foreign Worker
Program, the Government announced planned legislative, regulatory and
administrative changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
To date, the Government of Canada has implemented the following changes
from that announcement:
require employers to pay temporary foreign workers at the prevailing
wage by removing the previous wage flexibility;
temporarily suspended the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion process;
introduce fees for employers for the processing of Labour Market
Opinions so that the taxpayers are no longer subsidizing these costs;
identify English and French as the only languages that can be identified
as a job requirement;
increase the recruitment efforts that employers must make to hire
Canadians before they will be eligible to apply for temporary foreign
workers, including increasing the length and reach of advertising; and
add questions to Labour Market Opinion applications to ensure that the
Temporary Foreign Worker Program is not used to facilitate the
outsourcing of Canadian jobs.
The following planned changes are still under development as part of the
ongoing reform of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and will be
implemented in the coming months:
increase the Government's authority to revoke work permits and suspend,
revoke and refuse to process Labour Market Opinions if employers are
misusing the program; and
ensure employers who rely on temporary foreign workers have a firm plan
in place to transition to a Canadian workforce over time.
Economic Action Plan 2013
Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes new measures to equip Canadians with
the skills and training they need to fill skills shortages and succeed
in the Canadian labour market. These include the Canada Job Grant,
which will invest in skills training for unemployed and underemployed
Canadians, better ensuring they are qualified to fill the high-quality,
well-paying jobs that are available. Economic Action Plan 2013 is also
creating opportunities for apprentices and providing support to
under-represented groups such as Canadians with disabilities,
Aboriginal people, newcomers and youth.
To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit actionplan.gc.ca.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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This news release is available online at actionplan.gc.ca.