Ottawa announces $26.5m for improved foreign-credential recognition programs

Minister of Employment Carla Qualtrough said new funding will also go to individual provincial and territorial governments’ regulatory agencies “to enhance foreign credential recognition processes by reducing the number of steps to complete the process” | Photo: Carla Qualtrough

The federal government is investing $26.5 million over the next three years to bolster 11 foreign-credential recognition programs in order to expedite new immigrants’ integration into the Canadian economy.

The move was announced by Minister of Employment Carla Qualtrough in Vancouver today at a news event at the head office of non-profit immigrant settlement organization MOSAIC. The investment, Qualtrough said, is aimed at getting skilled newcomers to be able to work in their field of study or profession in Canada as soon as possible – which would yield both economic benefits for Canada and improve the quality of life for the immigrants.

MOSAIC is among the groups receiving the funding, and officials said they will direct the investment toward its Canadian Work Experience Internship Pilot Project. That program, MOSAIC says, helps newcomers obtain the necessary work experience to quickly enter their professional fields in Canada full-time.

Qualtrough said the funding will also go to individual provincial and territorial governments’ regulatory agencies “to enhance foreign credential recognition processes by reducing the number of steps to complete the process.” Loans through the investment program may also be available for newcomers with unique costs and complexities associated with their own foreign-credential recognition process, the minister said.

The move, she added, is one in a number of moves made by Ottawa to fight the rising shortage of skilled labour in Canada as the country looks to kick-start its economic recovery post-pandemic.

“We know Canada is experiencing labour shortages in many sectors across the country,” Qualtrough said. “And we saw how COVID-19 exacerbated this problem. To combat these challenges, we are taking action to train and up-skill workers, to make post-secondary education more affordable, to recruit thousands more Canadians into apprenticeship programs and more.”