More than 300 internationally trained professionals in Alberta will receive financial assistance to help them have their education and experience recognized, thanks to the Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot. The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, made the announcement today.
“Our Government’s top priorities are job creation and economic growth and we recognize that internationally trained workers help fill skills shortages in key occupations,” said Minister Finley. “By partnering with organizations like the Immigrant Access Fund Society of Alberta to help internationally trained professionals find meaningful work, we are working together for Canada’s long-term prosperity.”
“We want skilled professionals who come to Canada to work and contribute to their full extent as soon as possible, instead of facing underemployment and being underutilized,” said Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. “That is why we are committed to not only attracting bright, hard-working people from all over the world but also making sure that they get every opportunity to succeed in Canada.”
Under the Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Loans Pilot, the Immigrant Access Fund Society of Alberta (IAF Alberta) is receiving over $3.3 million to provide loans to internationally trained professionals so they can become licensed to work in their fields. This funding will enable IAF Alberta to provide over 300 more loans over the next two years and to expand its employment counseling and credential assessment services to smaller and rural communities.
“The Immigrant Access Fund applauds the Government of Canada for its vision and commitment to investing in the potential of new Canadians,” said Kerry Longpre, President of the IAF. “This aligns with the mission of the Immigrant Access Fund Micro Loan Program, which strives to ensure the equitable integration of internationally trained immigrants. It is critical for the economic and social success of our communities to maximize the expertise of new Canadians and celebrate their contributions.”
For many internationally trained professionals, the cost of licensing exams, training and skills upgrading can present a significant barrier to credential recognition and getting work in their fields. The FCR Loans Pilot is implementing projects across Canada that provide financial assistance to internationally trained professionals to lessen some of these financial burdens. Delivered in partnership with community organizations, these micro-loans will make it easier for internationally trained professionals to find jobs that best suit their skills and experience.
IAF Alberta is the fourth organization to receive funding under the FCR Loans Pilot. Similar projects under the pilot have been announced with IAF Saskatchewan, WIL Employment Connections of Ontario, and S.U.C.C.E.S.S British Columbia. This innovative, community-based initiative is another example of how the federal government is working with partners to help internationally trained professionals put their knowledge and skills to work sooner.
The FCR Loans Pilot complements the significant investments that the Government of Canada has made in recent years to help new Canadians succeed.