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Organizations Join Forces to Evaluate New Pre-Migration Services for French-Speaking Immigrants

May 16, 2011 — ACCC and the Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS) signed a unique memorandum of understanding today to evaluate the implementation of new pre-migration services to foster the socio-professional integration of French-speaking immigrants, in particular healthcare professionals.

This partnership agreement between ACCC and CNFS will enable the evaluation of the project’s feasibility and identify parameters for implementing a French pre-migration program. The program will be aimed specifically at foreign-trained healthcare professionals and graduates in order to provide them with a better knowledge of Francophone Minority Communities, and to allow them preferred access to existing French transition and support programs before their arrival in Canada.

Supported by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), ACCC has been offering pre-migration services to future immigrants for several years now through its offices located in the Philippines, India, China and England which currently serve 25 countries.

ACCC recognizes that CNFS is a partner of choice in developing a French pre‑migration program that meets the needs of immigrants from French-speaking countries. As stated by James Knight, President and CEO of ACCC, “The recruitment, integration and retention of French-speaking immigrants, especially healthcare professionals and graduates from abroad, are essential activities, since these people are an asset to Canadian society. ACCC has experience in helping help new immigrants prepare for integration into the job market while they are still in their country of origin.”

Since 2006, CNFS has been taking an active interest in the situation of international French-speaking healthcare professionals and graduates to help alleviate the shortage of French-speaking professionals in the healthcare sector in Canada. According to the Director General of the CNFS, Jocelyne Lalonde: “This new agreement for the CNFS is the springboard needed to deploy its efforts and ensure better integration and retention of French-speaking immigrants in Francophone Minority Communities.”

CNFS is a pan-Canadian group of eleven colleges and universities offering French-language education in various healthcare disciplines, and five regional partners, which facilitate access to these training programs. CNFS also has a National Secretariat in Ottawa, which plays a leadership, development and coordination role. This strategic alliance is well-situated to increase the presence and support of French-speaking healthcare professionals and researchers in order to improve the quality of healthcare service offerings that are adapted to the needs of Francophone Minority Communities. CNFS’s programs and initiatives are possible with funding and cooperation of Health Canada as part of the Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality.
ACCC is a national volunteer organization created in 1972 to represent colleges and institutes in their dealings with government and industry in Canada and internationally. The 150 member institutions of ACCC represent a wide range of establishments, including institutes of technology, polytechnics, cégeps, and universities with a college mandate.

ACCC and CNFS are leaders in post-secondary education and bring together educational institutions, including a number of colleges that are members of these two organizations.

For more information on ACCC and CNFS, visit  www.accc.ca and www.cnfs.net.

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For more information:

Caroline Gagnon
Communications Director, CNFS 
Tel.: 613-244-7837, ext. 226
Cell.: 819-661-7888

Debby Duford
Communications Officer
Association of Canadian Community Colleges
Tel.: (613) 746-2222, ext. 3116

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