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WES Weekly Roundup May 16, 2023

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World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping international students, immigrants, and refugees achieve their educational and career goals in the United States and Canada. The weekly roundup includes research, stories, and events of interest to the Canadian immigration and settlement community. This content has been created by WES and is reproduced here with their permission, in partnership.

Investing in settlement services for newcomers (IRCC)

Last week IRCC announced over $65 million in funding extensions to service provider organizations across the country who deliver settlement services including pre-arrival service, language training and more. This funding extension was granted to 15 organizations and will allow these organizations to provide supports to newcomers before they step foot in Canada. This includes workplace and employment resources to help them in the job search. Further details about individual organizations who have received this funding will be released in the coming weeks.

Best Practices in Supporting International Students Enrolled in Toronto-area Colleges (ICE Committee)

Canada has become a preferred destination for many students from abroad, with institutions seeing exponential growth in their international student enrollment. Given their education and exposure to the Canadian landscape and demonstrated proficiency in official languages, these students are looked to as a potential highly skilled talent pool and future permanent residents. Increasingly, international students will require enhanced collaborative support from colleges, service providers, communities, and all levels of government throughout their studies, employment, and settlement journeys. Key recommendations were developed by various stakeholders including international students. The study is suggesting a collaborative service delivery model that would:

  • Address structural gaps in information, policy, and service delivery.
  • Change recruitment strategies.
  • Replace business models with equity-focused models.
  • Develop targeted services.

New national PLAR framework will support lifelong learning and help individuals enter the workforce faster (CICan)

On May 9th Colleges and Institutes Canada released the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) Reference Framework that identifies the national tools, process and quality practices that allow people to receive recognition from previous formal and informal training and work experience. The framework compares and analyzes the various models, tools and practices used by colleges and institutes in Canada to identify the key challenges to broader adoption at the national level. Streamlining prior learning assessments can help individuals like immigrants enter the workforce faster through the recognition of existing skills that could address some of Canada’s current labour needs. Finally, the PLAR Reference Framework includes insights into how other PLAR models can be applied internationally to strengthen education and employment outcomes around the world.

Refugee Resettlement Spotlight

Canada on Track to Host Largest Afghan Resettlement Program (VOA News)

Canada is inching closer towards the goal of welcoming 40,000 Afghans by the end of this year. Most recent numbers indicate that currently, nearly 30,600 Afghans have arrived since the federal government’s announcement in August 2021. Among those who have been resettled are 10,000 Afghan nationals who have worked in partnership with the Government of Canada, while 16,000 human rights activist and civil society workers have been admitted under humanitarian streams. Approximately 18,000 applications are still under review by IRCC, UNHCR, and others and could be approved over the next few months. While there is no Canadian diplomatic presence in Afghanistan, Canada has stationed visa officers in neighboring areas to ensure timely processing.

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