Theresa McCurry, CEO of Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C., with Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai during a funding announcement for ASTTBC on Thursday (Aug. 15). (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Internationally trained Surrey newcomers get funding to help expedite credentials

Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC get $745K from feds

New funding from the federal government will help internationally trained Surrey newcomers expedite their credentials and have their skills recognized in Canada.

Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai announced the $745,833 in funding on behalf of Patty Hajdu, the minister of employment, workforce development and labour, at the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC) in Surrey on Thursday (Aug. 15).

ASTTBC will be getting the funding over the next two-and-half years, according to Sarai. The investment will help skilled newcomers get their credentials recognized and overcome challenges to finding work in Canada.

“This work is helping newcomers get their international skills credentials recognized quicker,” Sarai said. “We know it can be difficult for internationally trained professionals to break into the Canadian job market, even though they have a higher than average education, they may find it harder to secure jobs that match their level of education and experience.”

ASTTBC, according to a news release, “aims to facilitate the integration of internationally Trained Technology Professionals, Canadian military personnel and veterans into the Canadian labour market, through supports for foreign credential recognition.”

The release states that the funding is through the Foreign Credential Recognition program, which “provides funding to provincial and territorial governments, regulatory bodies, national associations and credential assessment agencies.” Governments and agencies, it says, use the funding for projects to “streamline foreign credential recognition processes.”

Theresa McCurry, the CEO of ASTTBC, said internationally trained professionals are a “priority” for the organization.

“Professional, scientific and technical services is a fast-growing industry to consider as a career choice,” she said.

“Many of Canada’s provincial technology associations, their new registrations are coming from new arrivals to Canada, rather than the Canadian-trained candidates This growing trend highlights a critical need to ensure adequate supports that are provided for new arrivals to ensure their efficient recognition and employment in the shortest time possible.”

ASTTBC, she said, has worked with internationally trained newcomers for years, with people coming from India, China, the Philippines and Iran. McCurry said because of that, ASTTBC works with a “number of diverse organizations who work closely with immigrants.”

McCurry said with this funding, ASTTBC and its partnering associations are “creating innovative platforms and resources to support those newly arriving Canadians.”

“Gaining formal recognition of newly arrived Canadians who have STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) through the credential assessment and professional certification program here, provides these people with significant advantanges in searching for employment in their chosen fields of training,” said McCurry, adding that it often accelerates the “rate of integration into the labour market.”

She said the project is “very much about embracing diversity and creating the very best workforce we can.”

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