Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced a call for proposals on December 5th, 2022, to support Internationally Educated Healthcare Professionals (IEHPs).
Minister Fraser, addressing on behalf of the Honorable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion, issued a call for project proposals at the press conference. In his speech, he mentioned that to facilitate and enable IEHPs to acquire skills, experience, and local credentials, their talents may be utilized effectively.
There is a Foreign Credential Recognition Initiative (FCRP), a federal program that offers financing to governments and organizations to facilitate foreign credential recognition in Canada, which will be in charge of handling proposals. For selected projects, Minister Fraser pledged $90 million in funding under the program.
According to the announcement, a project is eligible if it can either:
- Reduce challenges to foreign credential recognition for IEHPs; or
- Provide IEHPs with appropriate Canadian work experience for their preferred fields of employment;
- Streamlining labour mobility between Canadian jurisdictions for health care professionals and IEHPs to minimize structural and administrative barriers;
Moreover, the eligible projects must also either:
- Produce testing and implementation of credential recognition systems to reduce regulatory processes to increase international credential recognition;
- Provide wage subsidies, job placements, and mentorship to IEHPs to help them in integrating into the Canadian labour market.
Proposals will be received until Jan 30th, 2023 only. Shortlisted and successful projects will receive a minimum of $500,000 and a maximum of $10 million in funding.
What Made Canada Do This?
In several sectors, including seasonal agriculture, retail, and tourism, as well as healthcare, Canada is experiencing historic labour shortages. In his speech, Minister Fraser mentioned that 47% of skilled immigrants from other countries with a background in health were unemployed or working part-time in non-health fields that just required a high school diploma.
In response, Canada has already taken steps to make it easier for healthcare workers to obtain permanent residency (PR). Earlier this year, it was announced that doctors who are currently in Canada on a temporary visa will be eligible for economic immigration, despite being self-employed on paper.
When compared to employees with Canadian degrees, immigrants working in Canada with foreign degrees were twice as likely to hold a position for which they were overqualified. Thus, a revision in Canada’s credentialing system will be necessary to alleviate the country’s ongoing labour shortages and to take full use of the competent talent already present in the country who has received overseas training.,
Although the current focus of this study is on healthcare professionals, the federal government will probably keep looking into innovative certification practices for other industries as more and more employers identify a skills gap among their workforce.