WHITEHORSE—The Department of Education, with funding from Employment and Social Development Canada, hosted a public summit yesterday on foreign qualification recognition to generate action items and new ideas on the integration of foreign-trained workers in the north.
Foreign qualification recognition is the process of verifying that the knowledge, skills, work experience and education obtained in another country is comparable to the standards established for Canadian professionals and tradespersons. Recognizing foreign qualifications creates a diverse labour force and reduces underemployment.
“The North’s small population creates challenges in delivering assessment and bridging programs to help foreign-trained workers find jobs or further their education,” Minister of Education Doug Graham said. “At yesterday’s summit, Northern jurisdictions shared their best practices, discussed challenges and focused on creative solutions.”
The summit helped create a network for information sharing about foreign qualifications and foster a common understanding of the current situation and challenges in the North. It also generated creative solutions informed by best practices in other jurisdictions and contributed to the development of a foreign qualification recognition strategy for Yukon.
“Yukon is able to respond to skill gaps and worker shortages through the successful integration of internationally trained workers into the Yukon labour market,” Graham added. “The summit was a continuation of the work the Department of Education does to assist immigrants and to support employers with tools and resources to help them hire and retain foreign-trained workers.”
The day-long summit brought together government, business, professional associations, non-profits, First Nations and other stakeholders. Guest speakers included Margot Moorish from the Office of Manitoba Fairness Commissioner and Sociology instructor Shawkat Shareef from Yukon College.