VANCOUVER, Aug. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, announced over $3.3 million in funding to the Government of British Columbia to improve foreign credential recognition so that internationally trained professionals can get jobs in their fields faster.
This funding will support over 30 projects to help address barriers to foreign credential recognition for skilled newcomers in BC to help them find jobs in their fields faster. With BC poised for significant growth, this investment will help the province with its need for skilled workers, particularly in the energy and resource industry. The projects funded today include: online tools to better inform new Canadians what jobs are in demand in Canada, outreach and consultation with employers and stakeholders to eliminate barriers to new Canadians entering the workforce, and working with regulators to analyze progress on speeding up the recognition of foreign credentials in in-demand fields.
Recently, the Government announced that, in partnership with the provinces and territories, it will improve foreign credential recognition for 10 more priority occupations, including in the skilled trades and healthcare. Specifically, the Government of Canada is establishing a one year service standard; meaning new Canadians in these fields will have their credentials assessed within a one year period.
The 10 new priority occupations are: geoscientists, carpenters, electricians, heavy duty equipment technicians, heavy equipment operators, welders, audiologists and speech language pathologists, midwives, psychologists, and lawyers.
- Over the next decade, there will be approximately one million job openings in British Columbia. By 2020, newcomers are expected to fill about one-third of those new jobs.
- Under the Pan-Canadian Framework, high-skilled newcomers in the 14 priority occupations, including some 2,000 pharmacists, 1,200 dentists and 5,600 engineers, are already benefitting from improvements to foreign credential recognition.
- The Government of Canada also offers a microloans pilot project to help internationally trained workers cover the cost of having their credentials recognized. To date, more than 1,300 skilled newcomers have benefitted from microloans.
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Today's funding will help new Canadians realize their dream of finding well-paying jobs and providing for their families, while also helping fill shortages in in-demand jobs in the Canadian economy. Our Government will continue to work to streamline the recognition of foreign credentials and help new Canadians find jobs in their fields faster."
-The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism
"Immigration has played an important part in building our country and our province and we want to be sure that we are maximizing the benefit of the skilled individuals who choose to make British Columbia their new home. With this funding our government is committed to helping newcomers use the skills and work experience they have attained outside of Canada to find meaningful, in-demand jobs here in British Columbia, and provide for their families."
-The Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour of British Columbia and MLA for Prince George- Valemount, British Columbia
"Our government is helping internationally trained professionals succeed. For B.C. to achieve its full potential, all British Columbians, including newcomers, must have the opportunity to work in a field that best suits their skills and experience. This is good news for newcomers, good news for B.C.'s employers, and good news for our economy. Having worked overseas myself, I know personally how important foreign credential recognition is."
-John Weston, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, British Columbia
Employment and Social Development Canada: Credential Recognition
Applying for Foreign Credential Recognition Loans
A Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Credentials
Improving foreign credential recognition
Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada works with the provinces and territories and other stakeholders to improve foreign credential recognition. This partnership led to the development of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, which is streamlining foreign credential recognition for priority occupations, including doctors and dentists.
Under the Framework, internationally trained workers who submit an application to be licensed or registered to work in certain fields, along with all fees and relevant documents, will be advised within one year how their credentials compare to Canadian standards. They may also be advised of additional requirements or be directed to alternative occupations that would benefit from their skills and experience.
Service standards have been established so that internationally trained professionals in 14 priority occupations can have their credentials assessed within one year, anywhere in Canada.
The first set of 14 priority occupations were: architects, engineers, engineer technicians, accountants, medical lab technicians, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, registered nurses, practical nurses, dentists, medical radiation technologists, physicians, and teachers.
Government of Canada foreign credential recognition programs and services
The Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Program aims to improve the integration of internationally trained workers into the workforce. The Program provides funding to and works with the provinces and territories and other stakeholders—including regulatory bodies, post-secondary institutions and employers—to implement projects that facilitate the assessment and recognition of qualifications acquired in other countries.
The Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot Project, delivered in cooperation with community organizations, helps internationally trained professionals cover the costs of having their credentials recognized, so they can find jobs that best suit their skills and experience.
The Foreign Credentials Referral Office provides information and path-finding and referral services, both in Canada and overseas, to help internationally trained workers have their credentials assessed quickly so they can find work faster in the fields in which they have been trained.
The Internationally Educated Health Professionals Initiative works with provinces, territories and stakeholders to enable more internationally educated health professionals to put their skills to work in Canada's health system.
SOURCE: Canada's Economic Action Plan
For further information:
Office of Minister Kenney