23 Jul Canada and Germany Chair Meeting on Foreign Credential Recognition

By: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

People from around the world came together in Ottawa between May 20 and 22, 2015 for an in-depth look at Canada’s experience with foreign credential recognition (FCR) at the Inter-governmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees Workshop on Integration.

Throughout the three-day workshop, there were discussions, presentations from guest speakers with extensive experience in FCR and an offsite visit to the YMCA Power of Trades Program. Discussions covered the topics of pre-arrival services, bridging programs, establishment of alternative career pathways and how to support newcomers in the workplace. Other participating countries also shared their approaches to FCR.

Key points raised by Canada at the meeting:

  • Canada’s FCR framework is well-established and is successful in improving the labour market outcomes of skilled The complexity of the recognition process, however and the lack of national consistency and structural barriers continue to pose challenges.
  • Given the social and economic integration barriers faced by new immigrants, Canada has created programs that provide more information to immigrants about what they need to have their credentials recognized before they arrive, including learning more about the Canadian labour market and employers’ expectations. Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) programs also help newcomers connect to economic and social networks before they arrive in Canada.
  • CIC has funded pre-arrival settlement services in over 40 countries to help refugees, economic and family-class immigrants approved for permanent residency:
    • Identify alternative career pathways that provide immigrants with either an interim option to work in a related field while waiting for their qualifications to be recognized or long-term career options that make use of their knowledge, experience and skills;
    • Find ways immigrants and employers can focus on transferable skills, rather than job titles, to help immigrants find jobs in their area of expertise; and
    • Establish early connections with career assistance, as job satisfaction can shorten their transition period and limit frustrations with their new home country.

All Inter-governmental Consultations member states agree that they are committed to continuing the important work of supporting FCR to help newcomers successfully integrate into jobs and their communities. Building on the interest generated by employer support, the next meeting will likely focus on ways to improve refugee settlement outcomes, looking particularly at labour market integration.

The Inter-governmental Consultations is a forum that exchanges information and debates policy on issues like managing international migration by bringing together 16 Participating States, the United Nations Refugee Agency, the International Organization for Migration and the European Commission.