Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

March 25, 2008 16:59 ET

Human Resources and Social Development Canada: Infocentre Connects Skilled Immigrants to Job Resources

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 25, 2008) - The Honourable Colin Hansen, Minister of Economic Development for British Columbia (B.C.), and Mr. James Moore, federal Member of Parliament for Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam, today announced a new pilot project at the Vancouver Public Library (VPL), which will provide skilled immigrants with customized employment information that will help them find work in their chosen field.

MP Moore, who is also Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development.

The Skilled Immigrant InfoCentre's staff will work with clients to identify career opportunities and to connect them with other resources such as professional organizations, employer associations and immigrant services. Clients will also be provided with detailed labour market information.

"B.C. has a serious shortage of skilled workers and we are counting on skilled immigrants to fill many of these positions," said Minister Hansen. "Until now, it has been a challenge for skilled immigrants to thoroughly plan their job search strategy. The Skilled Immigrant InfoCentre will fill that gap."

The Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program is funding the $350,000 Centre under a federal-provincial agreement that supports initiatives that address the challenges immigrants face when looking for work. The InfoCentre builds on other provincial immigration programs such as Skills Connect for Immigrants, WelcomeBC and the Provincial Nominee Program.

"The Government of Canada is committed to creating the best educated, most skilled and most flexible work force in the world," said MP Moore. "This project is part of our plan to ensure that newcomers to Canada succeed by helping them get into the work force faster. The project also helps employers in British Columbia who need skilled workers."

The Vancouver Public Library will staff the Centre with a specially trained librarian and will follow-up with clients to assess the success of the service.

"The library is often the first place recent immigrants come to as they begin their job hunt," Vancouver City Librarian Paul Whitney said. "This customized service, coupled with other job programs and services offered by the VPL, will provide skilled immigrants with a roadmap that will speed their transition into the labour force."

B.C. attracts over 42,000 immigrants annually, with most settling in the Lower Mainland.

With an estimated one million job openings in the province over the next 10 years, and only 650,000 people now in B.C.'s school system, 350,000 jobs will need to be filled by workers from outside the province. Health care, engineering, teaching and skilled trades are some of the professions that will require skilled immigrants.

Funding for the Skilled Immigrant InfoCentre is provided by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program in a partnership with the Government of British Columbia.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Ministry of Economic Development
    Rena Kendall-Craden
    Communications Director
    250-952-0152