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Canada invests in internationally trained architects

Canada is funding a project that will make it easier for internationally trained architects to find work in their field, announced Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Architecture Canada will receive over $1.6 million in Foreign Credential Recognition Program funding for its project entitled Integration of Broadly Experienced Foreign Architects in Canada project.

“Attracting and retaining the best international talent to address existing and future labour market challenges is critical to Canada’s long-term economic success,” said Minister Finley. “Canada’s Economic Action Plan invested $50 million to improve foreign credential recognition so that newcomers can put their knowledge and skills to work sooner. When newcomers succeed, we strengthen the economy and improve the standard of living for all Canadians.”

Through this project, Architecture Canada will create a fair, efficient and timely pan-Canadian system for evaluating and licensing architects with international education and work experience. The organization will also work with Athabasca University to develop bridge-to-work programs and language training courses aimed at improving labour market integration for newcomers.

Courses will be offered at the new Centre of Architecture at Athabasca University in September 2011.

“Architecture Canada and the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities welcome the grant from the federal government to undertake this worthwhile study,” said Mr. Jim McKee, Executive Director of Architecture Canada. “The architectural profession is committed to increasing the number of architects in practice to provide services to our clients in Canada and abroad.”

Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada is working with the provinces and territories and other partners, such as employers, to address barriers to foreign credential recognition in Canada. This partnership directly contributed to the development of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, which was announced in November 2009.

This project is one example of how the Framework is bringing meaningful change to the way that newcomers’ qualifications are assessed and recognized by regulatory bodies in key occupations.
The Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications articulates a new national vision, guiding principles and desired outcomes for improving the assessment and recognition of newcomers’ qualifications in cooperation with the provinces and territories.

Under the Framework, recognition of foreign credentials and experience will be streamlined for eight priority occupations, including architects. This means that foreign-trained workers who submit an application to be licensed or registered to work in certain fields will be advised within one year whether their qualifications will be recognized. Otherwise, they will be advised of additional requirements or be directed to alternative occupations that would benefit from their skills and experience.

The Framework will focus on six more target occupations by December 2012, including teachers and physicians. The Framework is part of the Government of Canada’s strategy to have the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world.

With the Economic Action Plan’s $50-million investment, the Government will:

• Develop the principles that will guide the process of foreign credential recognition;

• Establish standards for the timely handling of requests;

• Identify key occupations that will be the priority for developing recognition standards; and

• Help people who want to come to Canada understand what they need to know before they arrive.

Established in 1957, Architecture Canada (formerly the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada) is a voluntary national association representing more than 4 200 architects, faculty and graduates of accredited Canadian schools of architecture. It provides the national framework for the development and recognition of architectural excellence and seeks to build awareness and appreciation of the contribution of architecture to the physical and cultural well-being of Canadians.

The Foreign Credential Recognition Program aims to improve the integration of internationally trained workers into the workforce. The Program provides funding to and works with the provinces and territories and stakeholders, including regulatory bodies, post­secondary institutions, sector councils and employers, to implement projects that facilitate the assessment and recognition of qualifications acquired in other countries.

The Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) was established in May 2007 to help internationally trained workers receive the information, path-finding and referral services, in Canada and overseas, to have their credentials assessed quickly so they can find work faster in the fields for which they have been trained. The FCRO works with federal, provincial and territorial partners, and foreign credential assessment and recognition bodies, to strengthen foreign credential recognition processes across the country.

Internet services for internationally trained workers can be found on the FCRO website at the following address: www.credentials.gc.ca
To learn more about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca

Posted: Oct 1, 2010

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