The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, and the Honourable Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister, announced that the Government of Canada, in partnership with the provinces and territories, will improve foreign credential recognition for 10 additional priority occupations including the skilled trades and healthcare. They made the announcement today at separate events in Vancouver and Toronto.
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.
Minister Kenney explained that occupations in the skilled trades were selected because they are in demand in some sectors and regions of the country, while occupations in health care were emphasized because they help address skills shortages and improve the quality of life of Canadians.
These occupations are part of a national framework that aims to streamline foreign credential recognition for priority occupations. For priority occupations, service standards are established so that internationally trained professionals can have their qualifications assessed within one year, anywhere in Canada.
Under the 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
The Government also launched the Federal Skilled Trades Program to
facilitate the immigration of skilled tradespeople to Canada and help
address serious skills shortages in the construction industry.
Applicants are selected according to criteria that put more emphasis on
practical training and work experience. Altogether, there are 90
occupations currently eligible for processing under this program.
- 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. We recognize that skilled newcomers help fill shortages in key occupations and make an important contribution to Canada's economy. That is why we are speeding up foreign credential recognition for 10 more occupations, including jobs in the skilled trades and healthcare. This means that even more new Canadians can put their skills to work sooner across Canada."
- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism
"To ensure that immigration continues to support our future prosperity, our government is building a faster and more flexible immigration system that ensures this country attracts the best newcomers who are able to contribute to their communities and the Canadian economy while helping address Canada's labour market needs.This includes the launch of Express Entry next January, which will revolutionize the way we attract skilled immigrants and get them working here faster."
- The Honourable Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister
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.
Economic Action Plan 2013 reinforced the Government of Canada's commitment to further improve foreign credential recognition and continue to work in partnership with the provinces and territories on the next set of target occupations.
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.
In January 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will launch a new electronic system called Express Entry to manage applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program.
Through Express Entry, foreign nationals who meet the criteria for one of the designated federal immigration programs will be placed into a pool, from which employers will be able to consider candidates who meet their needs when they cannot find a Canadian or permanent resident for the job. The Government of Canada's improved Job Bank will help facilitate matches between Canadian employers and Express Entry candidates.