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For Immediate Release
Dec. 10, 2010

Ministry of Regional Economic and Skills Development
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada





victoria - The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are supporting a project that will help internationally trained professionals put their knowledge and skills to work sooner. The Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, along with the Honourable Ida Chong, Minister of Regional Economic and Skills Development made the announcement today.

“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 Day. “Through our Economic Action Plan, we are working with partners such as the Province of British Columbia to improve foreign credential recognition so that newcomers can maximize their talents.”

The Government of Canada is providing over $4 million in funding to the British Columbia Ministry of Regional Economic and Skills Development. This funding will enable the Province to establish a fair and timely process for recognizing foreign credentials so that skilled newcomers can find jobs in their fields. Internationally trained professionals will also benefit from bridge-to-work and mentorship programs in various occupations.


Additionally, the Province will launch its own version of the Working in Canada online tool, where newcomers can access up-to-date labour market information, before and after arriving in Canada.


“With over a million B.C. job openings forecast by 2019, immigrants will play an important role in ensuring we have the skilled workers needed for our future economy,” said Minister Chong. “We appreciate and look forward to working with our federal partners in their efforts to improve the foreign credential recognition process, which will help immigrants connect with relevant employment options, and provide employers with the information they need to hire, train and retain skilled immigrants.”






The Government of Canada, through its Economic Action Plan, is investing $50 million to work with the provinces and territories and stakeholders to address barriers to foreign credential recognition. This investment directly contributed to the development of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications.


Under the Framework, foreign credential and experience recognition will be streamlined for key occupations, including some health care professions. This means that foreign-trained professionals who submit an application to be licensed or registered to work in certain fields will be advised within one year whether their credentials and experience 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 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 British Columbia Ministry of Regional Economic and Skills Development is responsible for providing an integrated approach to regional economic development by leveraging the alignment of post-secondary education and training offered through colleges and institutes, by delivering immigration and labour market development programming, and by building capacity for regional economic and community development across the province.


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:





Michelle Bakos                      

Press Secretary                       

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Office of Minister Finley                   


Corinna Filion

Communications Director

Ministry of Regional Economic
and Skills Development

250 952-6508

250 812-7977 (cell)



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