Statement on David Eby’s announcement on recognizing foreign qualifications in B.C.

Premier David Eby speaks after announcing plans for the International Credentials Recognition Act

We welcome the recent announcement from the Premier of British Columbia, David Eby, on the provincial government’s efforts to streamline the accreditation process for newcomers in British Columbia. 

Delays in accreditation – the process by which overseas qualifications are recognized and validated in Canada – prevent thousands of newcomers from rejoining B.C.’s workforce in 29 jobs identified as ‘high-demand’ by the B.C. government, including medical care, architecture, engineering and construction, among others. 

Immigrant Services Society of BC believes that immigration significantly benefits Canada’s competitive advantage.

B.C. is expected to have 1,017,000 job openings between 2022 and 2032 according to the recent 10-year Labour Market Outlook report. Over sixty per cent of these future job openings will be to replace workers leaving the labour force, mainly through retirements. Thirty-eight percent or an estimated 387,000 people of B.C.’s job openings will come through international migration.

We believe immigrants and refugees with internationally acquired skills should have clear pathways to utilize their skills and abilities and be able to fully participate within Canada’s labour market whether through designated past profession recertification or alternative career pathways options. While recognizing that professional designations acquired abroad may not always be equivalent to Canadian standards, we believe much more can be done to utilize the skills and talents that newcomers are often selected for entry to Canada but often cannot practice. 

Today’s announced changes will hopefully improve the speed and efficiency of foreign qualification recognition, provide new reporting guidelines to regulatory bodies, and begin to address the elusive issue of a lack of Canadian work experience so that B.C. can take full advantage of newcomers’ skills and abilities. 

We look forward to working with the provincial government to guide newcomers through this new legislation and thank the Premier for taking these important steps to improve accreditation in B.C. 

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