New plan to recognize immigrants’ credentials

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On Tuesday, Employment Workforce Development and Labour Minister Patty Hajdu and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed D. Hussen were at the Skills for Change Brampton location to go into some details about the $27.5 million funding over five years announced in the federal budget to help skilled newcomers get their foreign employment credentials recognized faster in Canada. After five years, $5.5 million will be invested in each subsequent year to support the strategy.

Minister Hajdu spoke about a problem that has existed for decades now- foreign-trained professionals have difficulty getting their credentials recognized in Canada.

She pointed out that it was not just the foreign-trained professional who loses by way of his profession and income, but Canada as well because it is a lost opportunity to gain from the skills and international experience they bring to the table.

Ottawa is in the process of implementing a new Targeted Employment Strategy.

Funds are focused on resources to begin the foreign credential recognition process before newcomers arrive in Canada, providing small loans to help immigrants pay costs related to the credential recognition process, and test new ways to assist skilled immigrants in getting Canadian work experience in their trained profession.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed D. Hussen said his ministry would work hand-in-hand with the labour ministry in implementing this strategy.

The pre-arrival service in other countries will be expanded, according to Hussen. The process helps newcomers prepare for certification and licensing as well as connect with employers before entering Canada.

About $32 million of the more than $664 million his ministry spends on settlement services each year will be dedicated to an expanded pre-arrival program, he said.

It is hoped that this latest initiative will save the professional lives of hundreds of new immigrants who come here bright, energetic and hopeful only to find themselves disillusioned, undervalued and underpaid. -CINEWS

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