Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan

September 24, 2010 13:30 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Internationally Trained IT Professionals

Canada's Economic Action Plan is helping new Canadians get jobs in their fields of expertise

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 24, 2010) - The Government of Canada is funding a project that will make it easier for internationally trained information and communications technology (ICT) professionals to find work in their field. The Honourable John Baird, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) will receive over $2.4 million in Foreign Credential Recognition Program funding for its IMPACTS Initiative.

"Attracting and retaining the best international talent to address existing and future labour market challenges is critical to Canada's long-term economic success," said Minister Baird. "Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, our government invested $50 million to improve foreign credential recognition so that newcomers can put their knowledge and skills to work sooner. When newcomers succeed, we strengthen the economy and improve the standard of living for all Canadians."

The IMPACTS Initiative will provide employers in the ICT sector with the tools and information needed to assess the credentials, skills and work experience of foreign-trained ICT professionals, in order to better integrate these individuals into the workforce and retain them.

The project will also develop a model for a bridge-to-work program for ICT managers trained outside Canada.

"ICTC is pleased to receive this funding through the Foreign Credential Recognition Program," said Mr. Paul D. Swinwood, President of ICTC. "We believe that improved diversity and inclusion of underrepresented groups in the ICT industry will provide critical productivity gains and competitive advantages for Canadian business in a global market."

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada is working with the provinces and territories and other partners, such as employers, to address barriers to foreign credential recognition in Canada. This partnership directly contributed to the development of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, which was announced in November 2009.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


The Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications articulates a new national vision, guiding principles and desired outcomes for improving the assessment and recognition of newcomers' qualifications in cooperation with the provinces and territories.

Under the Framework, recognition of foreign credentials and experience will be streamlined for eight priority occupations, including engineers and architects. This means that 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. Otherwise, they will be advised of additional requirements or be directed to alternative occupations that would benefit from their skills and experience.

The Framework will focus on six more target occupations by December 2012, including dentists and physicians. The Framework is part of the Government of Canada's strategy to have the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world. 

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

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

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit sector council dedicated to creating a diverse, prepared and highly educated Canadian information and communications technology (ICT) industry and workforce. ICTC works in partnership to develop standards, labour market intelligence, career pathways and immigration initiatives for the Canadian ICT industry, educators and governments.

Sector councils are national partnership organizations that bring together business, labour and educational stakeholders. Operating at arm's length from the Government of Canada, sector councils are a way for stakeholders to share ideas, concerns and perspectives about human resources and skills issues. Through ongoing collaboration, they work to find solutions that benefit their sector.

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 website at the following address:

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office