IRCC Minister Sean Fraser requested proposals under the Foreign Credential Recognition Program on the 5th of December.
The government of Canada has recently realized that approximately fifty percent of all newcomers to the country hold an undergraduate degree or higher.
Despite their educational accomplishments, skilled newcomers in all industries face a higher unemployment rate than citizens born in Canada. Furthermore, skilled newcomers are less likely to find work in the regulated professions for which they have been trained.
There need to be more workers available in various occupations, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, respiratory therapists, and technicians in medical laboratories. According to an analysis conducted by Statistics Canada, skilled newcomers are underutilized in the health industry.
Specifically, 47 percent of skilled newbies with a health education from overseas are either unemployed or underemployed in non-health professions that only require a high school diploma to enter the workforce.
According to the announcement, up to ninety million dollars will be invested in projects that will help remove barriers that prevent qualified and talented immigrants from getting work experience in their field of study or profession in Canada.
According to the announcement, a project is qualified for participation if it can do either of the following:
- Reduce barriers to the recognition of IEHPs’ international credentials by improving recognition procedures, streamlining recognition stages, and increasing access to field practice; or
- Provide IEHPs with relevant Canadian job experience for their preferred fields of employment, in addition to providing support services for participants, like childcare and travel costs, mentorships, and coaching, or Provide IEHPs with appropriate Canadian job experience for their ideal fields of employment
- Increasing the labor mobility of health care professionals and IEHPs across Canadian jurisdictions to reduce the structural and administrative barriers that exist for health care professionals who wish to find work in another jurisdiction.
Additionally, to qualify, projects must either:
- Create testing and execution of credential recognition systems focusing on reducing regulatory processes and harmonizing occupational guidelines to increase international put premium and interprovincial labor mobility, or create and implement a credential recognition system that includes both elements.
- It would be helpful for IEHPs to integrate into the Canadian labor market if they were given wage subsidies, job placement assistance, and mentoring opportunities.
- Until the 30th of January in 2023, proposals will be accepted. The funding awarded to successful projects can range from half a million to ten million dollars.
Eligible recipients include the various levels of government at the provincial, territorial, and local levels, as well as regulatory agencies, professional associations, industrial affiliations, unions, post-secondary educational institutions, hospitals and healthcare facilities, and organizations that are not for profit.
Why is Canada doing this?
In several industries across the Canadian economy, including seasonal agriculture, retail and tourism, and (most importantly) healthcare, labor shortages of historic proportions are being experienced.
During his address, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development noted that 47 percent of skilled immigrants from other countries who had received a health education were either unemployed or underemployed in non-health professions that needed only a high school diploma.
Canada has already removed barriers to permanent residence (PR) for healthcare workers. Earlier this year, it was announced that physicians working in Canada on temporary status would be qualified for economic immigration, although, on paper, they are self-employed. This was done to attract more qualified workers to the country.
Compared to workers with a degree obtained in Canada, immigrants already living in the country who hold a degree from another country are twice as likely to be working in a position for which they are overqualified.
Based on this ongoing over-qualification, modifications to the credentialing system in Canada will be essential for properly addressing labor shortages and for making the most of skilled talent that has been trained internationally and is already present in the country.
Although this project’s scope is currently focused on professionals in the healthcare industry, the federal government will likely keep investigating accreditation innovations for other industries. This is because many employers are reporting a skills gap among their workforce.
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