More skilled immigrants to Canada will be able to access the help needed to jump-start their credential recognition process through expanded overseas orientation services, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
“We want newcomers to be able to use their skills as soon as possible in Canada,” said Minister Kenney. “This funding will help them jump-start the credential recognition process before they arrive in Canada. It’s good for them and good for the Canadian economy.”
The Canadian Immigration Integration Project (CIIP), run by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC), will receive additional funding of $15 million over the next three years to expand services in India, China and the Philippines. A new office will also open in London, United Kingdom, in the fall of 2011, which will also serve various Nordic and Arab states according to demand.
“Our government is committed to helping newcomers succeed in Canada,” said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. “Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, our government is improving foreign credential recognition so that newcomers can maximize their skills. Attracting the best international talent is important to Canada’s long-term economic success.”
The CIIP, run by the ACCC , began offering orientation services in the Philippines, China and India on a pilot basis in early 2007. The existing sites, along with the London office, will offer access to more than 70% of the selected federal skilled workers around the world. These locations will also offer access to approximately 44% of selected provincial nominees around the world.
“To date, close to 7,000 people have graduated from the CIIP pilot program overseas,” said James Knight, President and CEO, ACCC. “As a result, they are better prepared to contribute to Canada’s prosperity through employment or by starting a new business. ACCC will work with our member institutions and our many partners to expand and enrich CIIP, bringing even greater benefits to newcomers and to Canada.”
Newcomers report foreign credential recognition as one of their top challenges once they immigrate to Canada. As part of the Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada has allocated $50M over two years (2009-2010) to support a common approach to foreign credential recognition to better integrate immigrants into the Canadian labour market.
Minister Kenney also spoke of advancements and successes of the federal government in the area of foreign credential recognition in Canada, including the recent announcement of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications – a landmark agreement between the federal, provincial and territorial governments to speed up foreign credential recognition for newcomers to Canada.
In addition, today Minister Kenney announced the release of the report, A Commitment to Foreign Credential Recognition: Government of Canada Progress Report 2009. To read the report and find further information on the Government of Canada’s services to accelerate the recognition of foreign credentials in Canada, visit http://www.credentials.gc.ca/.