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Federal, provincial and territorial governments cooperate to improve foreign credential recognition for newcomers to Canada
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, November 30, 2009-Under the new Pan‑Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, foreign-trained workers who submit an application to be licensed or registered to work in certain fields will be advised within one year whether their qualifications will be recognized. Senator Yonah Martin from British Columbia, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, today reiterated support for a new framework to enhance foreign qualification recognition for internationally trained workers.
ThePan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualificationsis part of the Government of Canada's strategy to have the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world. Recognizing foreign credentials is part of the strategy, and foreign qualification recognition is the process of verifying that knowledge, skills, work experience and education obtained in another country are comparable to the standards established for Canadian professionals and tradespersons.
"Ensuring that foreign credentials and qualifications are assessed and recognized in a timely manner will contribute to Canada's economic recovery," said Senator Martin. "With this framework, Canada will maximize the talents of newcomers to strengthen the economy and improve the standard of living of all Canadians."
Senator Martin thanked the Forum of Labour Market Ministers, consisting of federal, provincial and territorial representatives, for its work on the Framework.
"A strong commitment on the part of all jurisdictions has enabled us to introduce a pan‑Canadian framework that will improve the assessment and recognition of newcomers' qualifications," said the Honourable Moira Stilwell, Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development for British Columbia. "Working in cooperation, we are building a stronger British Columbia and a more robust Canadian economy. This framework equips all provinces and territories to emerge from the economic downturn ready to compete in the new economy."
The Framework follows the Government of Canada's commitment in the 2008 Speech from the Throne to "work with the provinces to make the recognition of foreign credentials a priority, attract top international students to Canada and increase the uptake of immigrant settlement programs."
The Framework states that governments across Canada will work towards better pre-arrival services, assessments that are fair, transparent, consistent and timely across Canada, and improved workforce participation services for newcomers. These services will help internationally trained workers put their training and knowledge to work sooner.
The Economic Action Plancommitted $50 million to work with the provinces and territories to address barriers to credential recognition in Canada. This investment will do four things:
- Develop the principles of timeliness, transparency, fairness and predictability that the federal, provincial and territorial governments set out to guide the process of foreign qualification recognition;
- Develop standards for the timely handling of requests for recognition of foreign qualifications;
- Identify the priority occupations for developing recognition standards; and
- Help people who want to come to Canada start the assessment process before they arrive.
The Foreign Credential Recognition Program and the Foreign Credentials Referral Office are the key federal initiatives in place to support pan-Canadian implementation of the Framework.
To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.
The Framework is available on the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Web site at http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/workplaceskills/publications/fcr/pcf.shtml.
For more information about foreign qualification recognition, call 1 800 O‑Canada, visit www.servicecanada.gc.ca or drop by your local Service Canada Centre.
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To help internationally trained workers find jobs in their career of choice, Canada's Economic Action Plan is investing $50 million over two years to make the process of assessing and recognizing foreign qualifications more efficient.
In January 2009, the First Ministers agreed that the timely assessment and recognition of foreign qualifications was a priority. The Forum of Labour Market Ministers was given the task of developing a pan-Canadian framework and implementation plan for foreign qualification recognition.
The objective of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualificationsis to articulate a new joint national vision, guiding principles and desired outcomes for improving the assessment and recognition of newcomers' qualifications.
The framework will initially be implemented in the following eight occupations by December 31, 2010:
- Financial Auditors and Accountants
- Medical Laboratory Technologists
- Occupational Therapists
- Registered Nurses.
During the next phase of implementation ending December 2012, the framework will be implemented in the following six occupations:
- Engineering Technicians
- Licensed Practical Nurses
- Medical Radiation Technologists
- Teachers (K-12)
Governments will work with regulatory bodies, post-secondary institutions and other key partners to implement the framework.
The Foreign Credential Recognition 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 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.
The Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) was established in May 2007 to help internationally trained workers receive the information, path-finding and referral services, in Canada and overseas, to have their credentials assessed quickly so they can find work faster in the fields for which they have been trained. The FCRO works with federal, provincial and territorial partners, and foreign credential assessment and recognition bodies to strengthen foreign credential recognition processes across the country. Internet services for internationally trained workers can be found on the FCRO Web site at the following address: www.credentials.gc.ca.