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$3.3 million funding helps new Canadians get jobs faster

Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, announced over $3.3 million in funding for 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 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.
• Working with regulators to analyze progress on speeding up the recognition of foreign credentials in in-demand fields.

Recently, Canada 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 federal government 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: 
1. Geoscientists
2. Carpenters
3.  Electricians
4. Heavy-duty equipment technicians
5. Heavy equipment operators
6. Welders
7. Audiologists and speech language pathologists
8. Midwives
9. Psychologists
10. Lawyers 

A few quick facts:
• 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 benefiting from improvements to foreign credential recognition.
• 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 benefited from microloans.

“Our government’s top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity,” said Kenney. 

“The 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. We will continue to work to streamline the recognition of foreign credentials and help new Canadians find jobs in their fields faster.”

“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,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour of British Columbia. “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.”

“Our government is helping internationally trained professionals succeed,” said MP John Weston. 

“For BC 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 BC’s employers, and good news for our economy. Having worked overseas myself, I know personally how important foreign credential recognition is.”

Posted: Sep 1, 2014

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