Ottawa, March 13, 2013 — Citizenship and Immigration Canada presented the first International Qualifications Network (IQN) Awards today to 14 Canadian innovators of foreign credential recognition programs and projects.
“For too long, too many newcomers have found themselves unemployed or stuck in survival jobs despite possessing impressive educational qualifications, work experience, and language skills. This has deprived both the newcomers and the Canadian economy,” said Parliamentary Secretary Rick Dykstra, who attended the event on behalf of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister, Jason Kenney.
“The Government of Canada is committed improving the process of foreign credential recognition and helping newcomers to integrate better into the Canadian labour market and Canadian society. The International Qualifications Network is instrumental in achieving these objectives by bringing together organizations across the country to improve the process of foreign credential recognition,” he added.
The IQN is an online forum where employers, regulatory bodies, governments, and immigrant-serving organizations can share best practices in foreign credential assessment and recognition. The website allows stakeholders to share evaluation tools and practices, studies, pilot projects, reports and videos, for example, and post information about events, such as workshops and conferences.
The IQN is just one example of recent efforts to improve the process of foreign credential recognition. In 2007, the Government of Canada established the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) to provide internationally-trained persons the information and services for credential assessment so they can find work in their fields of training much faster.
In 2009, the Government committed $50 million to develop the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, which offers foreign-trained professionals in priority occupations a credentials assessment within one year, anywhere in the country.
In 2011, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) introduced the Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Loans Pilot which helps internationally trained persons offset the costs of the foreign credential recognition process. To date, HRSDC has signed agreements with 10 organizations across the country to deliver these loans.
Finally, the Government of Canada recently expanded the Federal Internship for Newcomers Program (FINP) to include private sector companies, which will increase employment opportunities for newcomers.
“This Government is committed to removing barriers to employment faced by newcomers. Sharing of innovative foreign credential assessment and recognition practices through the IQN will help regulatory bodies and employers improve their ability to assess international qualifications and integrate newcomers into the Canadian labour market much faster,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister, Jason Kenney.
IQN award-winning initiatives include: a standards guide for assessing foreign credentials and a professional development program that connects newcomers with local business leaders and government officials. For more information, visit the IQN website.
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Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.