Ottawa is set to commit $800,000 to the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) to help skilled newcomers to Canada, find work in their chosen fields. The NACC represents an array of schools across Canada that offer training in sectors facing a shortage of skilled workers.
The Employment Minister Jason Kenney said that the funding aims to support about 5,000 internationally trained and educated workers, who are unable to find work in their fields, to obtain jobs closely related to their core expertise or to explore other career opportunities.
The NACC’s new Alternative Pathways for Newcomers project aims to get skilled workers from overseas move out of the menial jobs they currently hold, and get involved in professions closely related to their chosen vocations.
NACC head Serge Buy stated that several workers visited Canada based on promises made while promoting immigration to Canada from overseas. However, once these people landed in Canada, they ended up working in taxicabs or fast-food kitchens instead of practising in the fields of their choice.
The NACC program would publish information materials on alternative careers and develop a website, where skilled newcomers could access this information easily. The association would also establish regional information centres for enabling newcomers and community organisations to access and share information.
Thus, after doing the appropriate course, a lawyer from another country could work as a paralegal or an immigration consultant. Similarly, a nurse could find employment as a personal support worker or a pharmacy assistant.
Expectedly, the Liberals criticised the latest move. They said that career colleges had the highest average student loan sizes and default rates in the country. Therefore, by funding institutions that carry high costs and high default rates, the government was making profligate use of its funds.
Two years ago, the government launched the so-called Foreign Credential Recognition Loans pilot project. It resulted in the disbursement of over 1,000 loans to skilled newcomers for helping them cover the costs of having their credentials recognised in Canada. This latest move is yet another step to help this community contribute to the development of the country.
Source: City News Toronto