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Foreign Credential Recognition Program - immigrants, foreign-trained Canadians to benefit from Government of Canada investments

April 25, 2005

TORONTO - April 25, 2005 - As part of the Internationally Trained Worker Initiative, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada is launching the Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Program as a major step towards building a more globally competitive and sustainable economy.

The $68 million FCR Program will improve the integration of immigrants and foreign-trained Canadians into the work force by funding key stakeholder organizations, such as professional bodies, and sector councils, to implement projects that will facilitate the assessment and recognition of qualifications acquired in a foreign jurisdiction.

"The Foreign Credential Recognition program is a significant step in addressing the many challenges that immigrants and foreign-trained Canadians face when starting a career," said the Honourable Lucienne Robillard, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. "With this program we aim to help those who acquire specialized skills in a foreign country to use them in Canada, to improve Canada's economic development and to help them to make a better life for themselves. Today's announcement, which complements ongoing work by the provinces and territories, will deepen the pool of Canada's talent and skills."

The FCR program is a key element of the government's strategy to promote a strong economy, while at the same time improving the health of Canadians and supporting the growth and prosperity of Canada's cities and communities. It is also crucial to enhancing the cultural vibrancy of our society and maintaining our country's commitment to equality of opportunity so that prosperity can be shared by all Canadians.

Today's announcement is linked to Canada's Workplace Skills Strategy aimed at helping Canadians to become the best trained, most highly skilled workers in the world, as well as ensuring that employers' needs are met. The Government of Canada recognizes that Canada's future competitiveness depends on a highly skilled work force and on high-performance workplaces that focus on skills development. We will work with provinces and territories, business, unions, sector councils and workers to ensure that all Canadians have the opportunity to develop their skills so that they can obtain meaningful and productive jobs.

New Foreign Credential Recognition Projects

Under the Foreign Credential Recognition Program, the Government also announced it will be providing $1.8 million for new projects by the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE), the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE), the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) and Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (see table below for project descriptions).

"These projects will help ensure that internationally trained engineers and workers in non-regulated occupations can better integrate and make full use of their skills. This will both improve their quality of life as well as benefit Canadians as a whole as we strive to maintain our country's competitiveness in this increasingly global community," said the Honourable Lucienne Robillard, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development."

"We are pleased to be able to be working with the Government of Canada on the 'Potential to Prosperity' Project - an initiative that will showcase the experiences of previous immigrants who have gone through the process of professional credential assessment and recognition," said Gary Rabbior, President of the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education. "They will share their stories, their challenges, and their successes in order to help newcomers to Canada learn more about the processes and available tools, resources, and services that will enable them to integrate more effectively into Canada's labour force.

Project Descriptions

Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE) Database Research
To conduct research in order to develop a database of foreign institutions offering degrees in engineering.
Association of Canadian Community Colleges Models of Accelerated Labour Market Integration of Immigrants
This project will bring together major stakeholders representing the post-secondary education system, sector councils, various levels of government and immigrant-serving agencies to discuss ways to accelerate the integration of immigrants into the Canadian labour force. An implementation plan reflecting these discussions will include a comprehensive suite of programs and services to be offered by Canadian educational institutions both overseas and in Canada.
Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council Foreign Credential Recognition Research
Research to inform the development of a foreign credential recognition system to address non-regulated professions, including a model to facilitate recognition.
Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) Newcomers to Canada Day Planner Phase II
Expansion of "The Day planner", a tool for recent and potential immigrants to Canada that provides valuable information on foreign credential assessment and recognition processes, the Canadian labour market and on career development. It provides information, resources and links that can be referenced by new Canadians for credential assessment and recognition and skills upgrading as their needs change or evolve.
Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) Potential to Prosperity
The objective of this project is to help Canada's engineering regulated profession reach newcomers with relevant information related to credential assessment and recognition in Canada; help newcomers obtain credential assessment recognition and required upgrading to work in the engineering field in Canada; and to help employers verify and assess the credentials of newcomers to Canada and assist in the integration of newcomers into Canada's workforce.

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For more information:

Michael O'Shaughnessy
Director of Communications
Office of Minister Lucienne Robillard
(819) 994-2482

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
(819) 994-5559