More continuing care assistants will soon be moving to Nova Scotia to work, the result of a recent recruiting trip to Kenya.
Sixty-five continuing care assistants have received conditional job offers.
“One of the biggest challenges we face is finding the right healthcare professionals to fill the vacancies we have across Nova Scotia,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson, the Minister responsible for the Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment. “There are talented and skilled people around the world who would love to come here, and we would love to have them.”
The Province led the trip to a Kenyan refugee camp in partnership with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Health Association of Nova Scotia, and MacLeod Group, which provides senior care across Atlantic Canada, as well as refugee-focused charities The Shapiro Foundation and RefugePoint.
The new continuing care assistants are expected to start arriving in mid-2023 and will work in the continuing care sector in communities across the province.
They were recruited through the federal Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot, which identifies refugees with much-needed skills who meet regional and provincial immigration requirements.
Nova Scotia has already supported 42 applicants through the pilot, including more than 20 continuing care assistants now working in the continuing care system.
The Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot supports refugees immigrating to Canada by:
- waiving the application and biometric fees
- speeding up the application process so it is complete within six months
- covering the cost of pre-departure medical services and medical exams
- offering loans to cover travel costs and helping people settle in their new communities.
Attracting and supporting more internationally trained health providers is part of Action for Health, the government’s strategic plan to improve healthcare in Nova Scotia.
International recruitment is part of a broader strategy by the Department of Seniors and Long-Term Care – which includes free tuition and books and a recent wage increase – to address recruitment and retention of continuing care assistants.
We are committed to helping immigrants realize their dreams of calling Nova Scotia home. These new immigrants have skills we need, and they make our communities better. We will be thrilled to welcome these new Nova Scotians.
Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration
As Nova Scotians age, they deserve to know the care they require will be ready for them where and when they need it. I look forward to welcoming these individuals to our province and into the continuing care workforce to help deliver this essential care across Nova Scotia.
Barbara Adams, Minister of Seniors and Long-Term Care
It’s so valuable for employers and others in Nova Scotia to be able to see first-hand the number of highly skilled and educated people living as refugees. This program will continue to offer hope and solutions for refugees and their families to build their new lives here, while contributing their skills to ease Nova Scotia’s labour shortages.
Bahati Ernestine Hategekimana, nursing student, former continuing care assistant and RefugePoint economic mobility consultant
We know our efforts to attract new employees to the sector must expand beyond our own borders. On this recent trip to Kenya, we had the opportunity to support continuing care recruitment while also offering the chance for a new beginning to those who have been living at refugee camps their whole lives. That’s a win-win for everyone.
Mary Lee, President and CEO, Health Association of Nova Scotia and Igility
The program has opened MacLeod Group’s access to a new talent pool of qualified candidates. Equally important is the enhanced diversity candidates will bring to our organization. Partners such as RefugePoint and The Shapiro Foundation have been invaluable in helping us navigate our way through the process. We are excited about the possibilities this type of recruitment could bring.
Doug Stephens, General Manager of Operations and Human Resources, MacLeod Group
The recent recruitment mission to Kenya was an incredible success – not only did Nova Scotia succeed in recruiting much-needed and experienced healthcare workers, it has also built partnerships with stakeholders who will work to help the Province address other labour shortages in future.
Sarah Wiseman, Canada Director, The Shapiro Foundation