THUNDER BAY, ON, March 7, 2019 /CNW/ - Canada is recognized as an international leader in the settlement and integration of newcomers. However, internationally trained newcomers to Canada often face challenges in getting their credentials recognized so that they can find good-quality jobs. The Government of Canada is helping newcomers get their credentials recognized and gain their first Canadian work experience so they can put their education and skills to work sooner in Canada.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, launched a Call for Concepts under the Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Program. The total funding for this Call for Concepts is up to $10 million, which will fund approximately 15 projects to help newcomers find work.
The Government is seeking innovative and collaborative concepts from stakeholders that address specific barriers to the integration of highly skilled newcomers into the Canadian labour market. Helping people, including internationally trained newcomers, find and keep good, well-paying jobs, is part of our government's plan to grow our economy and strengthen the middle class.
"Helping newcomers obtain assistance to have their foreign credentials recognized will allow them to join the Canadian workforce faster, which is critical to growing our economy and strengthening the middle class. Through this Call for Concepts, we are giving more newcomers a fair chance at success in Canada."
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
"There is nothing more disappointing than seeing talent and experience going to waste when newcomers cannot move smoothly and quickly into the workforce in Canada due to credential and accreditation issues. Our region needs highly skilled individuals to fill gaps in the labour market that are hard to fill. Any progress on accreditation and recognition of skills and experience of newcomers would help meet the needs of employers and grow our economy. An improved system that could assess and recognize the international credentials and work experience that individuals have acquired in other countries would both assist newcomers and help reassure employers."
– Cathy Woodbeck, Executive Director, Thunder Bay Multicultural Association
- The FCR Loans project delivers up to $15,000 to eligible recipients to cover costs of getting their credentials recognized and provides direct employment supports.
- The Innovation and Skilled Newcomer Employment Call for Concepts addresses the third component of the Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers—assistance to acquire first Canadian work experience in their profession or in a field related to their profession.
- Recent immigrants have a lower employment rate (62.2%) than non-immigrants (71.7%) according to the 2016 Census.
- Visible minority newcomer women are more likely to be unemployed. The unemployment rate of visible minority newcomer women (9.7%) is higher than that of visible minority (8.5%) and non-visible minority (6.4%) newcomer men, based on the 2016 Census.
Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers
The Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers, announced in Budget 2017, has three components to help newcomers enter the job market. These are:
- improved pre-arrival supports;
- a loan program to assist newcomers with costs of getting their foreign credentials recognized; and
- assistance to acquire first Canadian work experience in their profession or in a field related to their profession.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Settlement Program provides eligible newcomers with information about life in Canada and the community in which they intend to settle, language training, help finding a job, and connections with established immigrants and Canadians. IRCC's investment of close to $778 million will further support the settlement needs of newcomers across the provinces and territories (outside of Quebec). IRCC announced $31.9 million for a three-year Visible Minority Newcomer pilot to further improve the employment and career advancement of visible minority newcomers in Canada by addressing the barriers they face.
Foreign Credential Recognition Program
The Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Program aims to improve the integration of internationally trained newcomers into the workforce. The Program provides funding to and works with the provinces and territories and other stakeholders—including non-profit organizations, regulatory bodies, post‑secondary institutions, sectoral stakeholders and employers—to implement projects that facilitate the assessment and recognition of qualifications acquired in other countries.
The FCR Program funds projects that:
- simplify and harmonize national credential recognition processes;
- provide microloans to offset the costs related to having foreign credentials recognized; and
- test the most effective and efficient ways to help highly skilled newcomers gain their first Canadian work experience in their profession and field of study.
Foreign Credential Recognition Loans
Overcoming financial barriers to foreign credential recognition is important to the successful labour market integration of newcomers. The Government of Canada allocates $7 million annually under the FCR Program to provide loans and support services such as career and financial counselling to newcomers so they can address barriers they face.
Work Experience Pilot Project
Helping newcomers eliminate barriers due to lack of first Canadian professional work experience will help them enter the job market faster. The Government of Canada invested $3.5 million in the Canadian Work Experience Pilot Project, helping 1,200 highly skilled newcomers, of which 50% are women, over a period of 24 months.
Call for Concepts – Innovation and Skilled Newcomer Employment
The Call for Concepts is open to eligible stakeholders involved in foreign credential recognition and the integration of highly skilled newcomers into the labour market, such as regulatory bodies, professional associations and unions.
The Government is soliciting concepts from eligible stakeholders that could lead to the design and implementation of innovative employment supports for highly skilled newcomers and/or improve foreign credential recognition processes. The Call for Concepts will select 15 projects over 30 months, with a maximum allocation of $800,000 per project.
The Call for Concepts is an easy two-step process:
- Eligible stakeholders submit an overview of their project concepts by April 11, 2019.
- Those whose applications are retained will be invited to develop full project proposals.
The deadline for submission of concepts is April 11, 2019, 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Véronique Simard, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, [email protected], 819-654-5611; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]