BC Chamber of Commerce Applauds Positive Step on Foreign Credential Recognition
The BC Chamber of Commerce welcomes the introduction of Bill 38, International Credentials Recognition Act, designed to facilitate the recognition of credentials of qualified professionals from 29 professions, who were educated outside of Canada. Providing increased fairness, transparency, efficiency and accountability, the proposed framework could make meaningful progress to address the current acute labour shortage and provide greater opportunities for immigrants to the province.
“Immigration is, and will continue to be, critical to navigating our workforce challenges in British Columbia over the coming decade. We sell our newcomers, our businesses, and our economy short when we allow foreign credentials to be under-recognized and therefore under-valued,” said Fiona Famulak, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “There are too many examples of new immigrants to Canada working in positions for which they are over-qualified because of the onerous barriers they face to have their international credentials recognized.”
B.C. is expected to have over one million job vacancies between 2022 and 2032. It is recognized the openings will not be filled by Canadians alone; immigrants will be needed in a variety of professions to address the labour shortfalls.
“Introducing fairness, transparency, efficiency and accountability to the recognition of foreign credentials in critical professions will go a long way to opening up a whole new pool of human talent for B.C. businesses. It will allow new immigrants to put their skills to good use, drive productivity and economic success, while also generating tax revenue to deliver critical public services,” added Famulak.
The BC Chamber of Commerce notes that Bill 38 excludes health care and trades professionals, who are desperately needed in every community. While work in these sectors has been advanced through other recent legislative changes and programmatic mechanisms, the BC Chamber of Commerce encourages the provincial government to continue to prioritize these professions and work with urgency to address the significant barriers faced by professionals in these sectors.
In 2020, the BC Chamber of Commerce membership passed a policy resolution calling on the provincial government to make foreign credential recognition a priority. The resolution was re-adopted in 2023 and can be found at: https://bcchamber.org/policy-search/expanding-foreign-professional-credential-recognition-address-our-labour-shortages