Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan

Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan

December 05, 2011 11:58 ET

Government of Canada Helps Internationally Trained Engineers Get Jobs

Canada's Economic Action Plan is helping new canadians find work in their fields

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 5, 2011) - Please note that HRSDC now provides audio quotes of Minister Finley at the end of some of its news releases, for your use.

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced a Government of Canada investment to help foreign-trained engineers get jobs in Canada faster. Engineers Canada received over $785,000 to improve the application process for engineers educated in other countries.

"Our government's top priority is jobs and the economy. This is why we are helping newcomers find meaningful work that contributes to Canada's long-term growth, competitiveness and overall prosperity," said Minister Finley. "Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, we are working with partners to improve foreign credential recognition so that newcomers can put their skills and experience to work sooner."

Verifying work experience can be a significant barrier to employment for foreign-trained professionals. With the support of the Foreign Credentials Recognition Program, Engineers Canada will compare foreign work experience with Canadian standards so applicants can demonstrate that they have the experience necessary to obtain a provincial or territorial licence. This builds on the progress that Engineers Canada has already made to help foreign-trained engineers get jobs in their fields faster.

Under the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, the Government of Canada is working with the provinces and territories and other partners, such as regulatory bodies, to improve foreign credential recognition.

In 2010, service standards were established so that internationally trained professionals in eight priority occupations, including engineers and nurses, can have their qualifications assessed within one year, anywhere in Canada. This year, the Government has started streamlining foreign qualification recognition for six more target occupations, including physicians and dentists.

This project is an example of how the Framework is bringing meaningful change to the way that newcomers' qualifications are assessed in Canada.

Additionally, Budget 2011 announced that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada will test ways to help internationally trained professionals cover costs associated with the foreign credential recognition process, with specific details to be announced shortly. This initiative will complement the already significant investments the Government of Canada has made to support the labour market integration of newcomers to Canada.

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


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With the Economic Action Plan's $50-million investment, the Government is:

  • developing the principles that will guide the process of foreign credential recognition;
  • establishing standards for the timely handling of requests;
  • identifying key occupations that will be the priority for developing recognition standards; and
  • helping people who want to come to Canada understand what they need to know before they arrive.

Under the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, recognition of foreign credentials and experience is being streamlined for key occupations.

The following is the first set of target occupations in the Framework:

  • architects
  • engineers
  • financial auditors and accountants
  • medical laboratory technologists
  • occupational therapists
  • pharmacists
  • physiotherapists
  • registered nurses

The next set of target occupations in the Framework is the following:

  • dentists
  • engineering technicians
  • licensed practical nurses
  • medical radiation technologists
  • physicians
  • teachers (K-12)

Under the Framework, internationally trained professionals who submit an application to be licensed or registered to work in certain fields, along with all fees and relevant documents needed to process the application, 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.

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 with 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, as well as 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 website at

Engineers Canada is the national organization of the 12 provincial and territorial associations that regulate the practice of engineering in Canada and license the country's more than 234 000 professional engineers.

Contact Information

  • Alyson Queen
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister Finley

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada