Female nurse in a hospital looking at a patient in bed

YWCA Health Connect Paves the Way to Healthcare Newcomers

From coast to coast to coast, Canadians are facing labour shortages and the demand for qualified workers continues to grow, particularly in the healthcare sector. The challenges of extended wait times and the struggle to secure a family physician persist for many nationwide.  

The statistics paint a vivid picture of the current scenario, with 90,000 unfilled positions in health occupations during the second quarter of 2023. Half of newcomers to Canada possess a bachelor's degree or higher, yet they face higher unemployment rates and are less likely to work in regulated occupations aligned with their education. With immigration projected to reach record-high levels, hitting 500,000 by 2025, the need to enhance support for skilled newcomers becomes paramount.  

Recognizing these issues, the Government of Canada is making significant investments to expedite accreditation for internationally educated health professionals (IEHP). On January 15, 2024, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault, unveiled a substantial funding commitment of up to $86 million distributed among 15 organizations nationwide. This financial support aims to enhance the capacity for recognizing foreign credentials, benefiting around 6,600 internationally educated health professionals. The goal is to ensure these skilled immigrants get recognized for their education and experience quickly by simplifying steps in credential recognition, providing relevant Canadian work experience in their intended fields, and providing wrap-around supports such as childcare and transportation costs, as well as mentoring and coaching. 

YWCA Metro Vancouver is proud to be part of this initiative and is partnering with YWCA Toronto to introduce YWCA Health Connect—an employment program designed to empower newcomer self-identified women in pursuing their healthcare credentials within Canada. 


“YWCA Health Connect aims to effectively integrate highly skilled newcomers into the Canadian labour market, and we understand that this can only be achieved by offering participants crucial industry connections and financial support for their credential recognition. This is the rationale for incorporating a range of activities within the program, including workshops, mentorship, and comprehensive career support, aimed at facilitating valuable job placements.” 

- Carolyn Neilson, Vice-President of Employment Services at YWCA Metro Vancouver 


We invite you to discover more about YWCA Health Connect and the incredible opportunities it provides for highly skilled newcomers. For more details, read the official Employment and Social Development Canada press release from January 15th, 2024.