BC invests $1.5 million strengthens supports for international credential recognition

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VICTORIA – The Government of B.C. is providing $1.5 million to the Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training (ASPECT) for new grants to organizations that help internationally trained professionals get through the credential recognition process.

Many immigrants arrive in B.C. with valuable education, experience and skills. Internationally trained professionals need to have their qualifications recognized by a professional regulatory authority to work in their chosen profession. The process of having education, skills and work experience from outside Canada assessed against Canadian standards is often referred to as foreign credential recognition. However, there are hurdles in the way of internationally trained professionals to have their credentials recognized.

“We know that many internationally trained professionals are struggling to have their credentials recognized in their chosen profession,” said Andrew Mercier, Minister of State for Workforce Development. “This is about fairness and making sure that people who have the skills and expertise can access supports and services provided through their local non-profit and immigrant service organizations.”

The Province held a series of public surveys and discussions aimed at identifying clearer and faster pathways for skilled people who have immigrated to Canada. The resulting public report will be released in summer 2023 and will guide the international credential recognition legislation aimed at reducing barriers and supporting more internationally trained professionals.

Reetinder Kaur, doctoral student and project director, Providence Health Care Research Institute, said, “As an internationally trained professional, finding a suitable job in my profession was a challenge, but through the support of programs such as the International Credential Recognition Fund, the process will become much easier. I personally overcame these challenges through support in 2020 from Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society’s Foreign Credential Recognition program.”

Janet Morris-Reade, CEO, ASPECT, said that Employment service organizations are connected to internationally trained newcomers and their communities. “They can facilitate removing barriers for newcomers to navigate connecting to their chosen profession more quickly than without support. This vital funding will enable more newcomers to gain access to credential recognition and workplace success.”

B.C. is expecting one million job openings over the next decade, 387,000 of which are expected to be filled by newcomers to the province. Investing in credential recognition for internationally trained professionals aligns with the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan. The action plan is supported by a provincial investment of $480 million over three years.

This funding will complement other provincial programs and services for newcomers, such as the Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program, which helps newcomers find employment in their field.