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B.C. Improves Foreign Credential Recognition Programs

March 28 2008 British Columbia Economic Development Minister Colin Hansen has announced CDN$1 million in funding to improve international credential recognition programs in the province.

Part of a CDN$3.1 million contribution from the Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Program this funding initiative is intended to support innovative projects that facilitate assessment and recognition of qualifications acquired in other countries.

Colin Hansen said:

"B.C. is aggressively courting skilled immigrants from overseas and across Canada in order to fill many of the one million job openings available over the next decade. In inviting them here, we have the responsibility to ensure they are able to use their skills, knowledge and experience in their chosen field."

Directed at B.C. regulators of occupations and trades this funding should allow them to design new foreign and inter-provincial credential assessment and licensing practices or enhance existing practices. Consistent with the B.C.-Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA), new funding proposals are permitted that also include partnerships with Alberta regulators and post-secondary institutions in the two provinces.

"The Government of Canada is taking steps to create the best-educated, most-skilled and most flexible work force in the world," said James Moore, Member of Parliament for Port Moody, Westwood and Port Coquitlam. "This funding demonstrates our commitment to work with our key stakeholders to help immigrants prepare for integration into the Canadian labour market, improve newcomers’ transition to the Canadian workforce once in Canada, and strengthen the Canadian labour market."

The WorkBC action plan identified improvements to the foreign credential assessment system as a priority to meet workforce shortages with this year’s funding building on $500,000 invested last year for 17 regulator-led projects.

Example projects include:

  • Development and enhancement of web-based application and information programs - Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C. - $50,000
  • Development of an online registration system - College of Applied Biology - $15,655
  • Website redesign to include country-specific information for international applicants and establishment of a secure file transfer system - B.C. College of Teachers - $31,555
  • Design of tools to compare foreign social work programs, content and practical experience to B.C. standards - Social Workers of B.C. - $9,510

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