Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan

Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan

February 22, 2012 14:45 ET

Government of Canada Taking Action to Support Newcomers in Southwestern Ontario

ST. THOMAS, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2012) - The Government of Canada today announced that WIL Employment Connections is one of the first organizations selected under the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot. The announcement was made by Dr. Kellie Leitch, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"Our government's top priority is job creation and economic growth," said Dr. Leitch. "Internationally trained professionals help fill skills shortages in key occupations and strengthen the economy. That's why we are working in partnership with organizations like WIL Employment Connections to help them find meaningful work that contributes to Canada's overall prosperity."

Today in Vancouver, Minister Finley launched the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot at S.U.C.C.E.S.S. BC, which is also a participating organization. In Saskatoon, Mr. Ed Komarnicki, Member of Parliament for Souris-Moose Mountain announced that the Immigrant Access Fund Saskatchewan will participate in the pilot as well. The government of Canada will invest $18 million over three years for projects across the country.

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 them to find jobs that best suit their skills and experience.

WIL Employment Connections (WIL) is receiving funding for a project that will help internationally trained professionals finance the cost of having their credentials recognized in Canada.

In addition to providing loans to eligible clients, WIL will also work with the Access Centre for Regulated Employment to provide internationally trained workers with financial planning advice, employment counseling and licensing information for their professions.

The Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot will enable internationally trained professionals to put their knowledge and skills to work sooner and complements the significant investments that the Government of Canada has made in recent years to help new Canadians succeed.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

This news release is available online at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.

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.

WIL Employment Connections will 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 to pursue additional training and licensing exams. Once training and exams have been completed, the workers will be able to pay back the line of credit within flexible timelines. 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 WIL. A small loan can make a world of difference.

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 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.

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 for which they have been trained.

The FCRO works with federal, provincial and territorial partners, as well as 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 enable more internationally educated health professionals put their skills to work in Canada's health system.

WIL Employment Connections is a non-profit organization dedicated to the economic and social integration of immigrants and Canadians into the broader community of London and surrounding areas. WIL provides information, referral, assessment, and employment counselling and preparation services, and facilitates volunteer work experience placements leading to employment.

IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.

Contact Information

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

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