Healthcare Accreditation Targets Historic Labour Shortages in Canada

The Minister of Immigration announced a call for proposals on December 5, 2022, to help Internationally Educated Healthcare Professionals (IEHPs) work in Canada’s healthcare system.

At today’s press conference, Minister Fraser (on behalf of the honorable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion), announced a call for proposals to streamline and assist IEHPs in gaining skills, experience, and local credentials; in order to maximize their potential.

The Foreign Credential Recognition Program (FCRP), a federal program that provides funding to governments and organizations for foreign credential recognition in Canada, will handle proposals. The program will provide investments of $90 million to selected projects, according to Fraser.

In accordance with the announcement, a project is eligible if it can either:

The recognition process should be enhanced, the stages of recognition should be streamlined, and foreign credentialed IEHPs should be allowed more access to field practice

Offering IEHPs appropriate Canadian work experience in their preferred fields of employment, while providing support services such as childcare and transportation costs, mentoring, and coaching.

Minimizing structural and administrative barriers for health care professionals seeking to work in another jurisdiction by facilitating labour mobility between Canadian jurisdictions.

Additionally, eligible projects must:

To increase international credential recognition and/or interprovincial labour mobility, test and implement credential recognition systems with an emphasis on reducing regulatory processes and/or harmonizing occupational standards

To assist IEHPs in integrating into the Canadian labour market, provide wage subsidies, job placements, and mentorship.

Successful proposals will receive a minimum of $500,000 and a maximum of $10 million in funding. Proposals will be accepted until January 30th, 2023.

What is the purpose of Canada Doing This?

Several industries are experiencing labour shortages, including seasonal agriculture, retail and tourism, and (most pressingly) healthcare.

In his address, Minister Fraser noted that 47% of skilled newcomers with health education from overseas were unemployed or underemployed in professions that required only a high school diploma.

The government of Canada has already removed barriers to permanent residency for healthcare workers, announcing earlier this year that self-employed physicians in Canada on temporary status could apply for economic immigration.

A foreign-degreed immigrant working in Canada is twice as likely to work in a job that they are overqualified for as a Canadian-degreed worker.

As a result of this continued over qualification, changes to Canada’s credentialing system are essential to addressing labour shortages and maximizing the potential of internationally-trained skilled talent.

Although this project focuses on healthcare professionals, the federal government is likely to explore accreditation innovations for other sectors as more and more employers report a skills gap.

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