Friday, October 12, 2012
WINNIPEG–Today’s announcement of $1.2 million of new federal funding for a pilot project offering micro-loans to internationally trained professionals to receive licensing in Canada misses the mark for successful integration. The program provides easier access to debt instead of providing direct support for professional integration into the economy.
“Immigrants are an important part of Canadian society and the lack of industry recognition for international training and education is a major barrier to full economic participation,” said Karim Ammoumou, Manitoba Representative for the Canadian Federation of Students. “Putting trained immigrants in debt is counterproductive to the government’s stated goals.”
Internationally trained immigrants and international students currently contribute over $10 billion annually to the Canadian economy. According to the federal Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, all net new labour force growth in Canada in the next 20 years will come from trained immigrants and international students.
“The federal and provincial governments should be providing grants for accreditation instead of indebting immigrants,” said Ammoumou. “When professionally-trained immigrants are fully integrated into the workforce, the value of those grants will be repaid several times over through increased income tax revenue and personal spending capacity.”
The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada’s largest student organisation, uniting more than 600 000 students in all ten provinces. The Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.
Contact: Karim Ammoumou, Manitoba Representative
Contact: Adam Awad, National Chairperson