Canada’s healthcare sector is experiencing critical labour shortages, heightened by the pandemic, and we need qualified workers to fill these vacancies. To help address these shortages, the Government of Canada is investing in projects that will give internationally educated health professionals the support and experience needed to pursue opportunities in the areas where we need their skills most.
Today, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, on behalf of Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, launched a call for proposals under the Foreign Credential Recognition Program. Up to $90 million will be invested in projects that will help remove barriers preventing qualified and skilled newcomers from gaining Canadian work experience in their own profession or field of study.
Eligible projects must focus on at least one of the following areas:
- Reducing barriers to foreign credential recognition for internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs) by improving recognition processes, simplifying steps in credential recognition and offering increased access to practice in the field.
- Providing IEHPs with Canadian work experience that is relevant to their intended fields of work, while incorporating wrap-around supports for participants such as childcare and transportation costs, as well as mentoring and coaching.
- Facilitating labour mobility between jurisdictions in Canada for health care professionals and IEHPs to reduce the systemic and administrative barriers for health care professionals who wish to work in another jurisdiction in Canada.
Multiple occupations are facing acute shortages such as physicians, nurses, paramedics, respiratory therapists and medical laboratory technologists. According to a 2020 Statistics Canada report, skilled newcomers are under-utilized in the health sector – 47% of skilled newcomers with a health education from abroad are unemployed or underemployed in non-health jobs that require only a high school education.
Under the call for proposals, successful projects must include at least one of the following eligible activities:
- Development, testing and implementation of credential recognition systems, with a focus on streamlining regulatory processes and/or harmonization of occupational requirements to improve the foreign credential recognition process and/or interprovincial labour mobility.
- Provision of employment supports such as wage subsidies, work placements, and mentoring to IEHPs to help them integrate into the Canadian labour market.
Organizations have until January 30, 2023 to apply for funding under this call for proposals.
The Foreign Credential Recognition Program funds projects to support faster and more efficient credential recognition systems, provides loans and support services, as well as employment supports such as training, work placements, wage subsidies, mentoring and coaching.