Government of Canada helps newcomers put their skills to work in Canada faster
VANCOUVER, April 6, 2017 /CNW/ - Budget 2017 is the next step in the Government's ambitious plan to make smart investments that will grow our economy and provide more opportunities for the middle class and those working hard to join it. Helping people, including internationally trained newcomers, find good, well-paying jobs, is part of that plan.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that the Government will introduce a new Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers. The Strategy will help internationally trained newcomers to our country find jobs that match their skills and experience.
Newcomers to Canada often face challenges in getting their credentials recognized so that they can find work. The Government's new Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers will reduce barriers to employment and support newcomers as they put their skills to work in the Canadian economy.
Newcomers will benefit from three new measures: improved pre-arrival supports to help them start the foreign credential recognition process before arriving in Canada; a loan program that will help them with the costs of having their foreign credentials recognized, such as licensing exams, training, travel and skills upgrading; and a new pilot project to test innovative approaches to help newcomers get Canadian work experience.
Budget 2017 proposes to commit $27.5 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, and $5.5 million per year thereafter for the new Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers.
As part of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan, Budget 2017 also encourages lifelong learning; supports retraining and skills upgrading for Canadian workers, especially those from underrepresented groups, such as youth, Indigenous Peoples and women; and works with provinces and territories to help more Canadians find and keep good jobs.
Taken together, these investments reflect the Government of Canada's belief in creating a real and fair chance at success for everyone, ensuring that Canada's best days lie ahead.
"Attracting the best and brightest from around the world benefits all Canadians, and is one of the Government of Canada's top priorities. I am proud that our government is supporting newcomers and helping them overcome barriers that limit their employment opportunities in Canada."
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
"I'm proud of our government's new Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers, which is part of our plan to help people, including internationally trained newcomers, find and keep good, well-paying jobs; this will strengthen our middle class, help those working hard to join it, and grow our economy."
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
"Newcomers to Canada bring high levels of talent, skills, experience to contribute to Canada's economy and bright future. S.U.C.C.E.S.S. commends the development of the Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers. We look forward to continuing our strong and collaborative relationship with government, the business sector and internationally trained newcomers to deliver innovative and specialized employment services that accelerate their foreign credential recognition process and secure employment in their areas of expertise."
– Queenie Choo, C.E.O. S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
- The Foreign Credential Loan Program, which is based on a previous pilot, will provide newcomers in need of financial assistance with loans to cover costs such as licensing exams, training, travel and skills upgrading associated with getting foreign credentials recognized.
- Participants in the Foreign Credential Recognition loans pilot, launched in 2012, were able to accelerate the recognition of their foreign credentials, enter the job market, earn wages that were commensurate with their skills more quickly, and depend less on government transfers.
- Budget 2017 proposes to commit $27.5 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, and $5.5 million per year thereafter, to give newcomers better pre-arrival supports; a loan program to help them with the costs of getting their foreign credentials recognized; and help getting Canadian work experience in their professions.
Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers
Many newcomers to Canada face challenges in getting their foreign credentials recognized and obtaining Canadian work experience that can help them enter the job market. The Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers will have three components to help newcomers meet these challenges.
Pre-arrival services provide people who have been selected to immigrate to Canada with in-person and online services on how to adjust to living and working in Canada, help getting their credentials recognized, and connecting with employers and link to in Canada supports.These services help newcomers develop realistic expectations about life in Canada, learn more about the labour market before arrival, and become job ready and self-sufficient more quickly.
Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada has increased pre-arrival funding over the past few years. Of the more than $600 million invested to support newcomers' settlement needs in fiscal year 2016/17, $32 million has been directed toward expanded pre-arrival services, ensuring newcomers arrive better prepared to settle in Canada. The expansion of pre-arrival services includes more services to help with job readiness and a significant expansion of in-person services to help prepare for travel to and arrival in Canada.
Employment and Social Development Canada will also develop a new Portal for people who want to have their international credentials assessed, and offer continued support to regulators to improve their outreach and systems to allow newcomers to apply for certification prior to arriving in Canada.
Based on a previous pilot, the loan program will provide newcomers in need of financial assistance with loans to cover costs such as licensing exams, training, travel and skills upgrading associated with getting foreign credentials recognized. Results of the pilot showed that participants were able to enter the job market, earn wages commensurate with their skills more quickly and depend less on government transfers.
Finally, the Strategy will test innovative approaches to help skilled newcomers gain Canadian work experience in their professions. Pilot projects to assess the value of foreign work experience will be implemented in order to learn the best ways to facilitate the critical first Canadian work experience for skilled newcomers. This could include testing initiatives such as paid internships, mentorships, job matching and looking at ways to help overcome employers' reluctance to hire newcomers as a result of difficulties in assessing the value of their foreign work experience.
The previous loan pilot, which ended in 2015, aimed to test models of community-based partnerships. Through this project, nine immigrant service and support agencies across Canada were funded to develop and deliver a loan program for internationally trained workers. At the end of the pilot, over 1,800 micro-loans were approved. The loans averaged $6,000 and the default rate was approximately 1%.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: Matt Pascuzzo, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, [email protected], 819-654-4183; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]