Success Stories: Credential Recognition

The lives of Canadians are touched on a daily basis by Employment and Social Development Canada and its portfolio partners. These success stories are about Canadians who have changed their own lives, or those of others, through the Foreign Credential Recognition Program.

List of Stories

  • Video: Choosing Canada, finding help and becoming a professional

    After comparing many countries, Dr. Bin chose to come to Canada. The Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot Project helped him cover the costs needed to gain recognition of his qualifications and skills in Canada. He is now happily working as a professional.

    Download: Video: Choosing Canada, finding help and becoming a professional (11.68 MB, MP4)

    Transcript

    Everybody has a reason to come to Canada.

    I compared many other countries and cities and finally I chose here.

    There is a program for us, the foreign-trained professionals.

    The program, actually, is a kind of bridge that’s connecting us, the foreign trained professionals, into the right now, the position.

    Before I came to Canada, I was there.

    After I came here, I dropped down to do whatever I have to do to survive, not striving.

    Surviving as a kitchen help, I worked in the Richmond Night Market, I worked in the dental laboratory as a technician polishing the denture(s).

    But with this help, from this program, from this loan, I got some information, I got some financial support.

    See, I’m now working, as a professional, as a dentist.

    So this program definitely changed my life. I’m happy.

  • Targeted Environmental Immigrant Bridging Program

    Calgary, Alberta - There are many challenges to entering the workforce, and for immigrants, a primary roadblock can be the lack of Canadian qualifications.

    Tommy Meza, originally from Guatemala, arrived in Canada in 2007 and settled in Calgary, Alberta. Tommy has a university degree in agricultural engineering from his country, but despite his educational pedigree, it became quickly evident that he would have to improve his qualifications and have his foreign credentials recognized in order to find a job here in his desired line of work.

    Fortunately, Tommy became aware of and enrolled in Canada's Environmental Immigrant Bridging (EIB) Program, whose goal is to help internationally trained professionals succeed in the Canadian environmental sector.

    The Calgary Catholic Immigration Society piloted the EIB Program, funded by Employment and Skills Development Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Program. The FCR Program aims to improve the workforce integration of internationally trained professionals. It provides funding to and works with the provinces and territories, as well as with stakeholders such as employers, regulatory bodies and post-secondary institutions, to develop a common approach to the assessment and recognition of credentials acquired in other countries.

    EIB helped Tommy bridge the gap and land a job that matched his career goals. We asked Tommy about his background and how he finally obtained a job working in Canada's environment industry.

    “My major in university was Agriculture, and back in Guatemala I worked on several projects with an environmental focus,” he says. “Early in my career, I worked for a non-governmental organization where I gained agricultural and environmental experience. I later worked as an agronomist for the United Nations and other organizations. The last job I had at home was working in disaster relief for the Guatemalan government for the Secretary of Food Security and Nutrition, after Hurricane Stan.”

    Currently, Tommy is working as the Quality Health, Safety and Environment Coordinator for a company called INOVA, which manufactures seismic equipment and software.

    “My responsibilities are quite varied,” says Tommy. “I provide training and employee safety orientation, work with a committee to resolve issues, and address any hazard concerns.”

    The Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan invested $50 million to work with the provinces, territories and other stakeholders to improve foreign credential recognition. This partnership led to the development of a framework that is bringing meaningful change to the way newcomers' qualifications are recognized and assessed across Canada. Under this framework, the recognition of foreign credentials and experience is being streamlined for key occupations in professions such as engineering and health.

    In Canada's Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government of Canada announced it will continue to work in partnership to further improve foreign credential recognition. This will help more highly skilled newcomers find work in their fields faster, allowing them to contribute to Canada's economy more quickly.

  • Online language tool helps internationally educated bio-professionals

    Montréal, Quebec—Patrick Bate Ayuk, a native of Cameroon, moved to Canada in June 2011. He earned a B.Sc. in Medical Laboratory Science in his home country and did voluntary work as a medical laboratory scientist at the Yufani Medical Centre in the city of Limbe. In 2008, he moved to Sweden to pursue a M.Sc. degree in Biomedicine.

    “I came to Canada as a skilled immigrant to develop my career and work in the field of biomedical science and scientific research,” says Patrick.

    Like many other internationally educated professionals, Patrick's biggest challenge as a newcomer in Canada has been to find a job in his profession or in a related field. Through an immigrant-serving agency in Montréal, he learned about BioTalent Canada, a non-profit national organization that connects employers with job seekers, delivering human resource, information and skills development tools to the biotechnology sector.

    BioTalent Canada received funding for some of its courses and programs through the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program (FCRP), which aims to improve the workforce integration of internationally trained professionals. The program provides funding to, and works with, the provinces and territories, as well as with stakeholders, such as employers, regulatory bodies and post-secondary institutions, to develop a common approach to the assessment and recognition of foreign credentials acquired in other countries.

    One of the BioTalent Canada projects funded by FCRP was the development and piloting of an online workplace-specific language and cultural proficiency course aimed at better integrating internationally educated bio-professionals into the Canadian biotechnology sector. This course tests various abilities, including:

    • listening and comprehension;
    • pronunciation (using phonetics); and
    • biotechnology terminology and acronyms.

    Patrick participated in the pilot in January 2012 and says the course helped him learn communications and language skills he needs to find work in his field. The pronunciation and bioeconomy terminologies also helped to improve his language skills, which in turn will help him adapt to the Canadian work environment.

    While searching for a job, Patrick also enrolled in BioTalent's Good Laboratory Practices course. This helped increase his chances of finding work and strengthened his laboratory knowledge and skills. “From September to December 2011, I also did voluntary work at the Pathology Laboratory at the Jewish General Hospital in Montréal,” he says. “This helped me gain some valuable laboratory work experience here.”

    Patrick says his experience in Canada has had a strong, positive impact on his life. “All these ongoing programs and courses with BioTalent have really made me determined and focused on what I want in life,” he says.

    Although Patrick has not yet found work in his field, his participation in the online course, coupled with his volunteer experience, have helped him overcome some of the barriers internationally educated professionals often encounter when looking for work in Canada. Patrick's learning and volunteer experience will help him better integrate into the Canadian biotechnology sector.

    The Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan invested $50 million to work with the provinces, territories and other stakeholders to improve foreign credential recognition. This partnership led to the development of a framework that is bringing meaningful change to the way newcomers' qualifications are recognized and assessed across Canada. Under this framework, foreign credentials and experience recognition are being streamlined for key occupations in professions such as engineering and health.

    In Canada's Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government of Canada announced it will continue to work in partnership to further improve foreign credential recognition. This will help more highly skilled newcomers find work in their fields faster, allowing them to contribute to Canada's economy more quickly.

  • Internationally-trained engineers find niche in Canada

    Vancouver, British Columbia – Victor Xiao immigrated to Canada in 2005 from China, where he worked as a manufacturing engineer. After applying for many jobs in Canada and getting no responses, he registered with E-MAP – the Engineering Matching and Placement Program – an on-line technical job matching program managed by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).

    The E-MAP Program was created in 2006 to facilitate the employment of internationally-trained engineers in BC's growing manufacturing sector. It is helping them put their knowledge and skills to work sooner.

    E-MAP is funded by Employment and Skills Development Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program (FCRP). The FCRP aims to improve the integration of internationally-trained professionals into the workforce. The program provides funding to, and works with, the provinces and territories, as well as with stakeholders such as employers, regulatory bodies and post-secondary institutions, to develop a common approach to the assessment and recognition of foreign credentials acquired in other countries.

    E-MAP led directly to Victor finding a job placement with EaglePicher Technologies, LLC in March 2008. In the spring of 2010 he moved to Westport Innovations, and was promoted after working there less than a year. He now works with the company as a program manager.

    “Victor says the E-MAP placement he received with EaglePicher gave him the opportunity to move to Westport Innovations, without which he felt he wouldn't have been able to move on in his career,” says E-MAP Program coordinator Karen McDiarmid.


    Chris Altiparnakis, born in Germany of Greek heritage, has a degree in chemical engineering with experience in diverse fields, including research and development, product development, and aerospace technology. Today he works with Fortis BC as a technologist in capacity planning. “I love my job…it's perfect for me,” he says.

    When he first came to Canada he tried to find resources to support his job search. It took him almost a year to find his first job in engineering. Before that, he worked in the retail business in order to practice his English.

    Chris found the most difficult part of his engineering job search was how to connect with potential employers. He networked and got access to E-MAP through professional associations. “E-MAP opened the door for me,” he says. Chris emphasizes it's important to find out what skills requirements employers are looking for and to work toward obtaining those skills. E-MAP gave him access to the information he needed to know about employers.

    E-MAP also supported Chris with mock interviews and information about the Canadian work culture. He believes “it's important to improve one's interpersonal skills and to try to understand Canadian culture.” Though he says there are hurdles for immigrant professionals looking for work here, “we can jump over them.” He went to job fairs and meetings of engineering societies and talked to immigrant engineers to find out what he could do better to land a job.

    Today, he says, “I am confident and have a better life.”


    Ali Faramarzifar is a naval architect from Iran who worked for an oil company in Dubai before coming to Canada in search of advanced job opportunities in engineering.

    Ali says that initially he found it hard to find a job in his field because he didn't know where to start looking. He eventually found a job search centre and took courses on how to find work and how to prepare for interviews. While looking for work in his field, Ali accepted a job at a Canadian retail chain store, where he stayed for about one-and-a-half years.

    He heard about the E-MAP Program through friends, and sent in applications for about 20 different positions. E-MAP linked him with RAS Industries, a company that hired him in January 2010. He became their material and inventory administrator the following year.

    Ali says that E-MAP helped him find his job, which is “very exciting” and provides him with new challenges. He says E-MAP offers mock interviews, and information on the work environment in Canada, and the work culture of various companies – information he believes is very helpful to immigrant engineers.

    He notes that networking is useful for finding information that can lead to a job and recommends that immigrant engineers take courses for newcomers and learn about industries in Canada to better prepare for their job search.


    The Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan invested $50 million to work with the provinces, territories, and other stakeholders to improve foreign credential recognition. This partnership led to the development of a framework that is bringing meaningful change to the way that newcomers' qualifications are recognized and assessed across Canada. Under this framework, foreign credentials and experience recognition are being streamlined for key occupations in professions such as engineering and health.

  • Health professional finds opportunity in Canada

    Winnipeg, Manitoba – Jeanne Munezero Sindikubwabo, a registered nurse from Africa, immigrated to Canada in February 2009 and settled in Winnipeg. “I was surprised to find out how challenging it is to find work in Canada as an immigrant nurse,” she says. Jeanne received support and guidance from a single-window service centre established by the Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS) that is part of a pilot project aimed at helping Francophone internationally-educated health professionals find employment in their field. The pilot project is funded by ESDC's Foreign Credential Recognition Program (FCRP).

    The FCRP works with the provinces, territories, and other stakeholders to implement projects to develop a common approach to the assessment and recognition of foreign credentials acquired in other countries. This means that newcomers like Jeanne can now expect to have their qualifications assessed within one year, in any Canadian jurisdiction.

    The single-window service centre where Jeanne sought assistance is part of the Projet régional d'orientation et d'aiguillage for international health professionals in Francophone minority communities. Staff at the centre guided her through the process involved in obtaining professional credentials in Canada. She says it also helped her to become known in the Francophone minority community in Winnipeg. “I am very happy to have come to Canada and be able to help communities by using my background and experience in health care,” she says.

    Regional project coordinator Mamadou Ka says the CNFS's Projet régional d'orientation et d'aiguillage in Winnipeg was created through funding under the FCRP. He notes that Jeanne is “very determined and hard-working, and also very qualified, having been a registered nurse specializing in anaesthesia and resuscitation.” He credits in part the FCRP's financial support for enabling her to work toward obtaining her nursing credentials in this country. To date, he reports, the Projet régional has succeeded in finding job placements for five francophone health care professionals in two Francophone health institutions in Saint-Boniface.

    Jeanne found employment in her field as a healthcare aid while taking prescribed courses. She has since become a Licensed Practical Nurse and is taking bridging courses toward becoming a registered nurse. “When I finally become a registered nurse, I will hold a great big party,” she says with a smile.

    The government's Economic Action Plan invested $50 million to work with the provinces, territories, and other stakeholders, to improve foreign credential recognition. This partnership led to the development of a framework that is bringing meaningful change to the way that newcomers' qualifications are assessed and recognized across Canada. Under this framework, foreign credential and experience recognition are being streamlined for key occupations. The framework is also helping internationally-trained health care practitioners to put their knowledge and skills to work sooner in communities across Canada.

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