Proposals to help internationally educated health professionals in Canada
Minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser, on behalf of Minister of Employment, Carla Qualtrough, launched a call for proposals under the Foreign Credential Recognition Program. The proposal aims to help Canada’s healthcare labour shortage (heightened by the pandemic) by investing in projects that will help remove barriers preventing qualified newcomers from gaining Canadian work experience in their fields of study.
Half of newcomers to Canada have a bachelor’s degree or greater. According to a 2020 Statistics Canada report, skilled newcomers are under-utilized in the health sector – 47% of skilled newcomers with a health education from abroad are unemployed or underemployed in non-health jobs that require only a high school education.Employment and Social Development Canada
The Government of Canada is now investing up to $90 million in projects that will give internationally educated health professionals the support they need.
According to the press release, projects must focus on at least one of the following areas to be eligible:
- Reducing obstacles to foreign credential recognition for internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs) by improving recognition processes, simplifying steps in credential recognition, and offering increased access to practice in the field.
- Providing IEHPs with appropriate Canadian work experience for their preferred fields of employment, while also providing wrap-around services for participants such as childcare and transportation costs, as well as mentoring and coaching.
- Facilitating labour mobility between Canadian jurisdictions for health care professionals and IEHPs to minimize structural and administrative barriers for health care professionals who seek to work in another Canadian jurisdiction.
Successful projects must involve at least one of the following acceptable activities, according to the call for proposals:
- Development, testing, and implementation of credential recognition systems with an emphasis on reducing regulatory processes and/or harmonisation of occupational standards in order to increase international credential recognition and/or interprovincial labour mobility.
- Wage subsidies, job placements, and mentorship are provided to IEHPs to assist them in integrating into the Canadian labour market.
Organizations can apply for financing through this request for ideas until January 30, 2023. Moreover, successful projects will be awarded a minimum of $500,000 and a maximum of $10 million.
It is important to mention that immigration is expected to reach record-high levels in 2022: 431,645. Therefore, it is important for Canada to increase the support to skilled newcomers.
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