Government helping internationally educated health care professionals work in Yukon


WHITEHORSE, YT, Feb. 20, 2024 /CNW/ – Across Canada, Canadians are facing labour shortages and the demand for qualified workers continues to grow. Long wait times and difficulty finding a family physician are far too common for people across the country. That is why the Government of Canada is investing to speed up accreditation for internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs).

Today, Rechie Veldez, Minister of Small Business, on behalf of Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, along with Yukon’s Premier Ranj Pillai, Yukon’s Minister of Health and Social Services, Tracy-Anne McPhee and Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for Yukon, announced up to $3.65 million in funding to the Government of Yukon through the Foreign Credential Recognition Program to improve the integration of IEHPs into the Yukon labour market.

This four-year, transformative project will have a lasting impact by taking steps to create a Yukon territorial licensure regulatory process, which currently does not exist in the territory. It will also create a Yukon Foreign Credential Recognition Centre to support both employers and skilled newcomers in navigating career pathways and regulatory processes in Yukon to get more workers into the health care sector. The project will support up to 150 newcomers by providing career navigation supports and will offer a targeted nurse bridging program for participating international jurisdictions. The project targets key health care occupations with an emphasis on licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, nurse practitioners and midwives.

On January 15, 2024, Minister 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 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.

Today’s announcement builds on the commitment made by the Government of Canada with provinces and territories during the October 2023 Health Ministers’ Meeting, to take concrete actions to address challenges facing Canada’s health workforce including reducing the time it takes for IEHPs to join the health workforce. Funding will go directly to key occupations like nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, laboratory technicians and respiratory therapy.

The Foreign Credential Recognition Program works with provinces, territories, regulatory bodies and other organizations by funding projects to support faster and more efficient credential recognition systems with the goal of growing Canada’s economy, creating quality employment and promoting a more sustainable health workforce. 


“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. The Foreign Credential Recognition Program is helping new Canadians thrive in our workforce, and fill labour gaps across the country.”

Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages

“Health care workers deliver the care that Canadians need. By bringing in new workers and retaining those who are already there, we can help relieve the labour challenges in our health care system. This federal funding supports our government’s work with provinces, territories and stakeholders to have more health care workers enter Canada’s workforce and to streamline that process. Together, this will improve our health care system so Canadians can get the care they need and deserve.”

Mark Holland, Minister of Health

“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. 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.”

– Premier and Minister of Economic Development Ranj Pillai

“Our government is committed to working with partners to address healthcare labour shortages. As part of this, we have been working closely with the Government of Canada to facilitate the recognition of credentials for internationally educated health professionals. Through the Foreign Credential Recognition Project, our goal is to strengthen our health and social service systems, filling crucial roles and ultimately enhancing the wellbeing of Yukoners. As we embark on this four-year pilot, insights collected may also inform approaches beyond healthcare, contributing to a more inclusive and stronger workforce across the territory.”

– Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee

“I’ve long advocated for solutions to labour shortages and workforce burnout in our health care system. As a physician myself, I know this investment will go a long way in leveraging the expertise of internationally educated professionals, while filling labour gaps in our hospitals, clinics and practices. Through this pilot project, internationally trained newcomers will face less barriers to health care employment in Yukon, and use their skills to contribute to the health and well–being of all Yukoners.”

– Dr. Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for Yukon

Quick Facts
  • Canada’s health care sector continues to see high levels of job vacancies, with a total of 90,000 unfilled positions in health occupations in the second quarter of 2023.
  • Half of newcomers to Canada have a bachelor’s degree or greater. Even with educational achievements, skilled newcomers in all sectors face higher unemployment rates than people born in Canada and are less likely to work in regulated occupations for which they have studied.
  • With immigration expected to reach record-high levels (500,000 by 2025), it is more important than ever to increase supports to skilled newcomers so that they can fully use their skills, experience and talents.
  • Budget 2022 announced an additional $115 million over five years starting in 2022–2023 and $30 million ongoing for the Foreign Credential Recognition Program, with a focus on supporting the labour market integration of skilled newcomers into the health sector. This is in addition to the Program’s base funding of $27.3 million per year.
  • Budget 2023 outlined the Government of Canada’s plan to invest more than $200 billion over ten years to improve health care for Canadians, including $46.2 billion in new funding for provinces and territories, and a focus on efforts to support the health workforce.
  • This funding complements other investments from the Government of Canada to support newcomers so they can participate in Canadian society to their full potential. For example, through the Settlement Program managed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the Government of Canada funds services that help newcomers settle and adapt to life in Canada, including employment-related services and support with foreign credential recognition.
Associated Links

Government helping 6,600 internationally educated health care professionals work in Canada

Backgrounder: Government helping 6,600 internationally educated health care professionals work in Canada

Government of Canada launches call for proposals to help internationally educated professionals work in Canadian health care

Funding: Foreign Credential Recognition Program

Foreign Credential Recognition Program

Federal, provincial and territorial statement on supporting Canada’s health workforce

Health workforce

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

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