Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments Cooperate to Speed Up Foreign Qualification Assessment and Recognition for Skilled Newcomers

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, Mar 12, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Governments are working in partnership to help internationally trained professionals find work in their fields through a national framework to improve the recognition of foreign qualifications.
Federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for the labour market announced today, through the Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM), the release of a progress report on the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications(1). All governments are working towards the common goal of ensuring that foreign qualifications are assessed and recognized in a fair, consistent, transparent and timely manner. This collective effort will help internationally trained professionals put their knowledge, skills and experience to work sooner in communities across the country.
"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 the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Co-Chair of the FLMM. "For Canada to achieve its economic potential, internationally trained professionals must have the opportunity to find work that best suits their skills and training. That's why we are improving foreign qualification recognition so that these skilled workers can find jobs in their fields faster."
Through the Framework and other initiatives, federal, provincial and territorial governments are working to improve the assessment and recognition of foreign qualifications and to better integrate internationally trained professionals into the job market.
The FLMM's progress report highlights that the first eight target occupations outlined in the Framework, including engineers and registered nurses, meet the one-year commitment to timely service in all Canadian jurisdictions. This means that internationally trained professionals will be advised within one year as to how their qualifications compare to the Canadian standard.
"I am proud of the progress we have made to date on improving foreign qualification recognition for internationally trained professionals," said the Honourable Dave Hancock, Minister of Human Services, Government of Alberta, and Co-Chair of the FLMM. "Streamlining foreign qualification recognition is a win-win for both governments and newcomers to Canada. Ensuring immigrants to Canada can work to their full potential in their chosen profession is essential for our future economic success and international competitiveness."
Governments are now working with stakeholders to improve foreign qualification recognition for an additional six target occupations, including physicians and dentists.
The implementation of the Framework has been made possible through the collaboration of federal, provincial and territorial governments, and through consultations with key partners that support specific actions to promote continuous improvement to the way that internationally trained professionals' qualifications are assessed and recognized in each of the first set of target occupations.
The FLMM also recognized the important role that federal, provincial and territorial ministries of immigration and health play in implementing the Framework.
The Framework is one example of the collaborative approach governments have taken to respond to current and future labour market challenges, such as skills shortages in key areas of the economy, while creating opportunities for all Canadians to contribute to the labour force.
The Framework is available on the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada website at http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/workplaceskills/publications/fcr/pcf.shtml .
The progress report on the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications is available online at http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/workplaceskills/publications/fcr/2010/fcr.shtml .
This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.
The Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM) was established in 1983 as an intergovernmental forum to strengthen cooperation and strategic thinking on the labour market priorities of the provinces, the territories and Canada.
The FLMM was mandated to develop the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, announced in November 2009. The Framework represents a new vision, guiding principles of fairness, transparency, timeliness and consistency and desired outcomes for improving foreign qualification recognition for internationally trained professionals in Canada.
Through the Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada invested $50 million to work with the provinces and territories and other partners, such as regulatory authorities and post-secondary institutions, to address barriers to foreign qualification recognition. The provinces and territories are also investing in this work.
The following are the first set of target occupations in the Framework:
        --  architects
        --  engineers
        --  financial auditors and accountants, including chartered accountants,
            certified general accountants and certified management accountants
        --  medical laboratory technologists
        --  occupational therapists
        --  pharmacists
        --  physiotherapists
        --  registered nurses

The next set of target occupations in the Framework are as follows:
        --  dentists
        --  engineering technicians
        --  licensed practical nurses
        --  medical radiation technologists
        --  physicians
        --  teachers (K-12)

Internationally trained professionals must submit all fees and relevant documents necessary to process their applications. They may also be advised of additional requirements or may be directed to alternative occupations that would benefit from their skills and experience.
(1) While the Quebec government has not endorsed the Framework, it supports its principles and agrees to share reports already made public to its citizens, notably those tabled at the National Assembly.
        Alyson Queen
        Director of Communications
        Office of Minister Finley
        Media Relations Office
        Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
        Sonia Sinha
        Public Affairs Officer
        Ministry of Human Services
        Government of Alberta

SOURCE: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Forum of Labour Market Ministers
Copyright 2012 Marketwire, Inc., All rights reserved. 

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