Ottawa boosts investment in Yukon’s foreign credential recognition program

Investment will improve integration of internationally educated health professionals into Yukon’s labour market

Ottawa boosts investment in Yukon’s foreign credential recognition program

The federal government is investing up to $3.65 million in funding in the Yukon government to improve the integration of internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs) into the province’s labour market.

The funding will go through the Foreign Credential Recognition Program and will support a four-year project. The project targets key health care occupations, with an emphasis on licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, nurse practitioners and midwives.

“Choosing Canada to build a new life for one’s family should not come at the cost of being barred from practicing in one’s field of expertise,” said Randy Boissonnault, minister of employment, workforce development and official languages. “The Foreign Credential Recognition Program is helping new Canadians thrive in our workforce, and fill labour gaps across the country.”

Previously, Ottawa invested more than $633 million in funding to improve health care in Manitoba. Among the focus points of the investment is the removal of barriers to foreign credential recognition, simplification licensing processes and increasing program access to educated and skilled health professionals.

Yukon territorial licensure regulatory process

Under the project, Yukon will create a Yukon territorial licensure regulatory process, which currently does not exist in the territory.

The provincial government will also create a Yukon Foreign Credential Recognition Centre, which will support both employers and skilled newcomers in navigating career pathways and regulatory processes in Yukon to get more workers into the health care sector.

“Here in the Yukon, we have many internationally educated health professionals who are not currently working in healthcare, despite their qualifications and desire to provide care and serve their communities,” said Yukon Premier Ranj Pillai.

“Through this agreement, we will be better positioned to help those individuals reach their full potential in our labour force. I want to thank the Government of Canada for their support, and for helping advance our government’s work in this important area.”

Reducing barriers to internationally educated professionals

This funding agreement will enable Yukon to better support internationally educated health professionals who wish to work in the Yukon. The provincial government can do this by creating opportunities for individuals to gain Canadian work experience and providing tailored employment services to skilled newcomers. 

Reducing barriers for these professionals to work will help efforts to fill vital health care positions in the territory, said the Yukon government.

Yukon noted that the objectives of the agreement include:

  • raising awareness of available support for internationally trained newcomers
  • reducing barriers to foreign credential recognition
  • streamlining regulatory processes and facilitating labour mobility across Canadian jurisdictions

Recruitment was identified as one of the pillars in the recently launched Yukon’s Health Human Resources Strategy. The funding agreement helps to address Initiative 2.3. – Streamline licensing pathways and Initiative 2.6 – Establishing a clear internationally educated health professionals integration pathway. 

In October 2023, British Columbia introduced Bill 38 – the International Credentials Recognition Act – which would make it easier for internationally trained professionals to work in the province.

Foreign Credential Recognition Program

On Jan. 15, Boissonnault announced similar funding to various organizations across Canada to respond to regional labour market gaps in the health care sector. Projects funded under the Foreign Credential Recognition Program, the federal government noted, will:

  • reduce barriers to foreign credential recognition for IEHPs by improving recognition processes, simplifying steps in credential recognition and offering increased access to practice in the field
  • provide IEHPs with relevant Canadian work experience in their intended fields, while incorporating wraparound supports such as child care and transportation costs, as well as mentoring and coaching
  • facilitate labour mobility between jurisdictions in Canada for health professionals and IEHPs to reduce the systemic and administrative barriers for health professionals who wish to work in another jurisdiction in Canada

Back then, Ottawa announced it is providing $86 million to 15 organizations across Canada to increase the capacity for foreign credential recognition of internationally educated health professionals.

Through the Foreign Credentials Recognition Program, the investment will help approximately 6,600 health professionals educated outside Canada come and practice their craft in the country.

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