When Dr. Michael Fatokun moved to Atlantic Canada from Nigeria in 2018, he wished to give his family a better life and continue practising medicine. A new program is set to make that process a little easier.
The Atlantic Immigrant Career Loan Fund (AICLF) is supposed to help up to 200 newcomers like Fatokun pay for the credential recognition process.
“Even if you have come with some funds, you still need (a) substantial amount of funds to take exams,” said Fatokun.
Through the fund, newcomers are able to borrow up to $15,000 over four years in professions not eligible for student loan funding. Loans are also available for permanent residents or Canadian citizens to cover the costs of training, testing, licensing and living costs.
AICLF is delivered in partnership with the Multicultural Association of Fredericton, MAGMA in Moncton and the Saint John YMCA. The New Brunswick Multicultural Council will cover all rural areas.
The New Brunswick Multicultural Council is also commencing a provincial survey to determine how many newcomers in the province have training and experience as nurses or personal support workers. This data will be used to improve training and employment programs.
“We recently launched a survey to identify how many immigrants in the province were interested in that field, and over 150 respondents have come forward in the last week,” said Alex LeBlanc, executive director of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council.
The regional approach to providing credential recognition started with medical professionals, engineers and accountants and will now expand to include project management and trades.
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Between 2018 and 2027, the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour estimates a total of 8,223 openings in nursing- and personal support worker-related positions. At the same time, the province will welcome hundreds of newcomers with training and experience in these exact fields.
Fatokun is awaiting his exam results and hopes to be practising medicine again by early 2020.