News Release Article from  Employment and Social Development Canada

Government of Canada Taking Action to Support Newcomers

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Vancouver, British Columbia, February 22, 2012—The Government of Canada today announced the launch of a three-year pilot project that will make it easier for internationally trained professionals to have their credentials recognized and find jobs in their fields.

The announcement was made by the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism also participated in the announcement.

“Our government's top priority is job creation and economic growth,” said Minister Finley. “In the Economic Action Plan, we made a commitment to help internationally trained professionals cover the costs of having their credentials recognized. Today we are delivering on that commitment.”

"Today's announcement is part of the Government's commitment to making it easier for immigrants to join the Canadian labour market," said Minister Kenney. "We want newcomers to be able to use their skills as soon as possible in Canada and work to their full potential. It's good for them and good for the Canadian economy." 

For many internationally trained professionals, the cost of licensing exams, training and skills upgrading can present a significant barrier to credential recognition. The Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot will develop and test innovative projects that provide financial assistance to internationally trained professionals to lessen some of these financial burdens. Delivered in partnership with community organizations, the loans will make it easier for internationally trained professionals to find jobs that best suit their skills and experience.

S.U.C.C.E.S.S. British Columbia, where Minister Finley made the announcement, is one of several partners across Canada to receive support through this pilot. Similar agreements were also announced today in Ontario and Saskatchewan. Today’s announcements are part of an $18 million commitment that the Government of Canada made in its 2011 budget for the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

“Through our partnership with the Government of Canada and our years of involvement with bridge programs such as foreign credential recognition, we look forward to providing services for flexible, easily accessible and low cost loan applications to internationally trained professionals.” said Thomas Tam, CEO of S.U.C.C.E.S.S

“Internationally trained workers, including skilled immigrants and Canadians with international training or education, make an important contribution toCanada’s job market and the economy,” added Minister Finley. “That’s why we are working in partnership with organizations like S.U.C.C.E.S.S. to help them find meaningful work that contributes to Canada’s overall prosperity.”

Additional projects with selected organizations across the country will be announced in the future. This innovative, community-based pilot project is another example of how the federal government is working with partners to help internationally trained professionals have their credentials recognized.

The Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot complements the significant investments that the Government of Canada has made in recent years to help new Canadians succeed. 

For an audio quote of Minister Finley (for your use), please click here.

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For more information, contact:

Alyson Queen
Director of Communications
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482 

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
819-994-5559


Backgrounder


In Budget 2011, it was announced that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada would test innovative and sustainable ways to help internationally trained professionals cover costs associated with the foreign credential recognition process. The Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot will provide funding to community-based partners—such as non-government and non-profit organizations—to increase their capacity to deliver financial assistance to eligible professionals.

S.U.C.C.E.S.S. British Columbia will provide eligible clients with loans to help pay for short-term training, exam fees and associated travel expenses. The project is expected to help over 350 internationally trained workers in the greater Vancouver area pursue additional training and licensing exams. Once their training and exams have been completed, the workers will be able to pay back the loans within flexible time periods.

Also announced today, Immigrant Access Fund Saskatchewan is receiving over $1.7 million to provide eligible clients with loans to help pay for short-term training, exam fees and associated travel expenses. The project is expected to help over 290 internationally trained workers in theprovince of Saskatchewan pursue additional required training and licensing exams. The following is an example of how micro-loans would help skilled newcomers. Ann, an accountant from Taiwan, could not practice her profession because she does not have Canadian credentials. She would have to complete several training courses to obtain her Canadian designation. If she was working in a low-paying job below her skill level, she would not be able to afford the tuition and exam fees. A micro-loan would allow Ann to cover these costs and acquire her Canadian designation as a Chartered Accountant. When she found a job in her field, Ann would repay the loan to SUCCESS. A small loan can make a world of difference.

WIL Employment Connections is also receiving over $880,000 to provide eligible clients with a line of credit loan based on their short-term training and certification needs. This project is expected to help over 100 internationally trained workers in London and other areas in southwestern Ontario pursue additional training and licensing exams.

Canada’s Economic Action Plan invested $50 million to work 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 (the Framework), which was announced in November 2009.

The Framework is streamlining foreign credential and experience recognition for key occupations. In 2010, service standards were established so that internationally trained professionals in eight priority occupations, including accountants and engineers, can have their qualifications assessed anywhere in Canada within one year. We have now started improving foreign qualification recognition for six more target occupations, including physicians and dentists.

To learn more about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

The Foreign Credential Recognition Program aims to improve the integration of internationally trained workers into the workforce. The Program provides funding and works with the provinces and 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 (FCRO) 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 FCRO works with federal, provincial and territorial partners, as well as with credential assessment and recognition bodies, to strengthen foreign credential recognition processes across the country. Internet-based services for internationally trained workers can be found on the FCRO website at www.credentials.gc.ca.

Established in 2005, the Internationally Educated Health Professionals Initiative works with provinces, territories and stakeholders to help more internationally educated health professionals put their skills to work inCanada’s health system.

S.U.C.C.E.S.S., established in 1973, is one of the largest social service agencies in British Columbia. The organization provides clients with settlement services, English as a second language training, and employment, family and youth counselling.

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