$4.6M investment helps integrate skilled permanent immigrants

VICTORIA – More skilled immigrants will be able to fully utilize
their skills in the B.C. economy, as the B.C. government invests in
projects and programs to speed up and improve the process for
immigrants to get their credentials and qualifications recognized to
work in B.C.

With B.C. having over 280 regulated occupations, an efficient and
fair process for immigrants to get their required certification
and/or licence to work in these occupations is essential to fully
utilize the skills immigrants bring to B.C. Finding qualified people
to fill jobs is a key part of the BC Jobs Plan.

The B.C. government undertook a Foreign Qualifications Recognition
(FQR) Review focusing on nine high-demand occupations critical to
the BC Jobs Plan’s growth sectors, including engineers,
technologists and technicians, as well as five key trades
occupations.

The FQR Review worked with groups like the Applied Science
Technologists and Technicians of B.C. (ASTTBC), the Association of
Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC), which are
directly responsible for certifying workers in their respective
fields, and the Industry Training Authority (ITA), the credentialing
body for the skilled trades.

The FQR Review investigated real and perceived barriers to FQR that
unnecessarily impede skilled immigrants from working in occupations
that they been trained for and where B.C. has high labour market
demand and shortages.

As a result of this review, the following will take place:

* Building on WelcomeBC.ca, creating new online tools to help
immigrants find work that fully utilizes their skills in BC’s
economy.
* New interactive Career Options Tool with another 120 occupational
guides to help immigrants assess their qualifications before
arriving in B.C., so they can start working in jobs that match their
skills as soon as they arrive.
* New competency-based assessments for high-demand occupations that
are identified in the review to make it easier and faster for
skilled immigrants to have their qualifications recognized by B.C.
regulatory occupation authorities.
* New occupation-specific language programs for high-demand
occupations with the focus on B.C.’s priority sectors to improve
workplace success and retention.
* Investing in a performance management system for FQR in BC,
whereby FQR applications, outcomes, and process timelines will be
measured for continuous improvement.

Funding to make this possible is provided by the Government of
Canada and the Province of British Columbia.