Government of Canada helps skilled newcomers access jobs in the healthcare sector
March 23, 2022 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
The pandemic has resulted in worker shortages across many industries, including in the health sector. However, internationally educated health professionals too often face challenges in getting their credentials recognized in Canada in order to access quality jobs in healthcare. To prioritize getting skilled newcomers into the job markets where they are needed most, the Government of Canada is investing in projects that will help them put their education and skills to work sooner.
Today, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced funding for nine projects under the Foreign Credential Recognition Program. This investment will help improve foreign credential recognition and help skilled newcomers gain Canadian work experience in the health sector. Minister Qualtrough made the announcement today with Halton Multicultural Council (HMC) Connections, McGill University - School of Physical & Occupational Therapy, and the Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators.
HMC Connections is receiving funding for its Career Accelerator for Foreign Trained Health Professionals in the COVID Environment project. With this investment, the Council will be able to facilitate Canadian work experience for highly skilled internationally trained healthcare professionals with a focus on establishing long-term sustainable employment in their field of study. This will assist in alleviating the current pandemic and future demand on the health and social service sectors.
McGill University - School of Physical & Occupational Therapy is receiving funding for its Serving Canadian Rehabilitation Needs: McGill Physical Therapy Bridging Program project. With this investment, McGill will be able to formalize their Physical Therapy (PT) Equivalency Training pilot program project into an official McGill University PT Bridging Program that will allow English-speaking Internationally Educated Physical Therapists (IEPTs) to receive official certification from McGill University. It will also enable IEPTs to register and obtain licensure with the Ordre Professionnel de la Physiothérapie du Québec.
Finally, the Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators is receiving funding for its Language Proficiency Requirements for Safe Nursing Practice in Canada project. With this investment, the Council will review, update and validate the benchmarks for acceptable English and French language proficiency levels in the licensure and registration of International Educated Nurses in Canada.
The Foreign Credential Recognition Program funds provinces and territories, regulatory authorities and organizations to increase efficiency and timeliness of foreign credential recognition processes as well as to provide loans and employment supports (e.g., work placements, mentoring) to help skilled newcomers work in their field of expertise.
“Our investment today will help internationally educated health professionals get their foreign credentials recognized so they can join Canada’s workforce sooner. We know our health care sector is experiencing labour shortages, and that’s why we’re making sure that these qualified, skilled professionals can get to work in our hospitals and clinics as soon as possible. This is not only good for the individuals who can continue to pursue ameaningful career, it’s great news for our health care system and every Canadian who depends on it.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
“Canada suffers from a shortage of doctors, nurses and health professionals, which means patients don’t always get the level of care they deserve. However there are internationally trained health professionals in Canada who would be willing to work, but their training is not recognized here in Canada. Thanks to the Foreign Credential Recognition Program, they will be able to get their credentials recognized and contribute to addressing our urgent healthcare needs.”
– Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos
“Halton Multicultural Council Connections is honoured to support highly skilled foreign trained health care professional with the support of Employment and Social Development Canada. This program provides information on the health care sector in Canada and places foreign-trained doctors, nurses and pharmacists in health care jobs that gives them Canadian work experience. This Canadian experience enables them to find appropriate work that matches their education and experience and helps to launch their career in Canada.”
– Kim Jenkinson, Executive Director, HMC Connections
“A distinguishing feature at McGill is that the internationally educated students completing their bridging program are integrated into the mainstream Physical Therapy Program with students who are completing their master’s in physical therapy. This integration provides a wonderful opportunity to build professional and social networks in their new environment. Over the years, students from around the world including Brazil, Egypt, India, Lebanon, Syria, Romania and elsewhere, have completed the program and continue to maintain their friendships today. McGill and SPOT are very proud to launch the new Physiotherapy Bridging Program!”
– Liliane Asseraf-Pasin, Director, Physiotherapy Program, McGill University - School of Physical & Occupational Therapy
“Much-needed growth in the nursing profession relies on our ability to welcome practitioners who are able to care for their patients safely and competently. This includes being able to communicate with them in a manner that is effective and that meets certain criteria. This project is an opportunity for licensed practical nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, and registered nurses to work together to update language standards in Canada. We're grateful to the Government of Canada for supporting this important initiative."
– Ryan Shymko, Registered Psychiatric Nurse, Chair of the Language Proficiency Steering Committee, Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators
Among the projects announced today:
- HMC Connections will receive an investment of $1,559,804 for its Career Accelerator for Foreign Trained Health Professionals in the COVID Environment project.
- McGill University - School of Physical & Occupational Therapy will receive an investment of $856,926 from this funding for its Serving Canadian Rehabilitation Needs: McGill Physical Therapy Bridging Program project.
- The Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators will receive an investment of $370,183 for its Language Proficiency Requirements for Safe Nursing Practice in Canada project.
Half of newcomers to Canada have a bachelor’s degree or greater. Even with their educational achievements, skilled newcomers face a higher unemployment rate than that of people born in Canada and are less likely to work in the regulated occupations for which they have studied.
With immigration expecting to reach record-high levels (431,645 in 2022), it is more important than ever to increase supports to skilled newcomers so that they can fully use their skills, experience and talents.
Recent immigrants (aged 25-54) have a lower employment rate (75.7%) than non-immigrants (83.9%) in 2021, according to the Labour Force Survey.
Visible minority newcomer women are more likely to be unemployed. The unemployment rate of visible minority newcomer women (8.6%) is higher than that of visible minority men (6.7%) and non-visible minority immigrant men (5.5%), based on the 2016 Census.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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