March 24, 2023

Canada Aims At The Accreditation Of Health Care Amongst Historical Labor Shortages

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser published a request for suggestions on December 5, 2022, to aid Internationally Educated Healthcare Professionals (IEHPs) in finding jobs in Canada's healthcare sector.

Minister Fraser announced a request for project proposals at today's press conference on behalf of the honorable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion, in an effort to make it easier for IEHPs to acquire the knowledge, expertise, and local credentials they need to make the most of their abilities.

The Foreign Credential Recognition Initiative (FCRP), a federal program that offers financing to governments and organizations to facilitate foreign credential recognition in Canada, will be in charge of handling proposals. For selected projects, Minister Fraser pledged $90 million in funding under the program.

According to the notice, a project is eligible if it can:

  • Reduce barriers to IEHP international credential recognition by improving recognition processes, shortening recognition stages, and broadening access to field practice; or
  • Provide IEHPs with relevant Canadian work experience in their desired sectors of employment, while also providing participants with support services such as childcare and transportation fees, mentoring, and coaching; or
  • Facilitating labor mobility for healthcare professionals and IEHPs between Canadian jurisdictions is intended to reduce structural and administrative barriers for healthcare professionals seeking to work in another province.
  • Develop and test credential recognition systems with a focus on streamlining regulatory processes and/or harmonizing occupational standards in order to promote international credential recognition and/or interprovincial labor mobility; or
  • Provide IEHPs with pay subsidies, employment placements, and mentorship to help them integrate into the Canadian labor market.

The deadline for submissions is January 30, 2023. Successful projects can receive funding ranging from $500,000 to $10 million.


Why is Canada taking this action?

Canada is facing historic labor shortages in a variety of industries, including seasonal agriculture, retail, tourism, and (most urgently) healthcare.

Minister Fraser made a point of mentioning in his address that 47% of skilled foreign-trained immigrants with a background in healthcare were unemployed or working part-time in non-health areas that just required a high school certificate. Canada responded by removing barriers to permanent residence (PR) for healthcare professionals, declaring earlier this year that physicians in Canada with a temporary status would 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. A revision in Canada's credentialing system will be necessary to alleviate the country's ongoing labor 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, it is probable that the federal government will keep looking into innovative certification practices for other industries as more and more employers identify a skills gap among their workforce.


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