The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) welcomes measures in the 2017 federal budget that will make it easier for high-skilled immigrant professionals to find employment in Canada.

We congratulate the government for these measures and applaud Employment and Social Development Canada Minister Patty Hajdu, for her leadership in support of immigrant employment.

We were encouraged to learn yesterday that in the next five years, $27.5 million will be spent on helping newcomers working in licensed professions to get their qualifications recognized more quickly and easily. This includes testing innovative approaches that will help new immigrants gain work experience in their profession.

We also welcome the Global Skills Strategy that will help Canadian companies bring top global talent into their workforce by reducing processing times for visas and work permits.

TRIEC believes that immigration is key to the future prosperity of this country. Immigrants bring fresh perspectives, global insights, and a huge amount of skills and experience, which is helping to grow the economy and replacing an aging workforce. However, many of these high-skilled international professionals face roadblocks in their efforts to secure meaningful employment.

Credential recognition has presented a significant barrier to newcomers in licensed professions. Canadian experience has also been a big sticking point; this unspoken requirement can make it difficult for newcomers to get a foot in the door and secure that all-important first job in Canada.

The support that this budget pledges will ease immigrants’ transition to their new home and help clear the way for this important source of skills and talent to fully contribute. In an ever-changing global economy, TRIEC is committed to continuing to find ways of creating an inclusive labour market where immigrants can truly thrive.