Continuing care assistants from Kenya coming to N.S.

19 January 2023 Posted by: Lake Lawn B&B Great Yarmouth News

Sixty-five continuing care assistants from Kenya are set to move to Nova Scotia and work across the province, according to a news release from the provincial government.

The province says they are expected to start arriving in mid-2023.

“One of the biggest challenges we face is finding the right health-care professionals to fill the vacancies we have across Nova Scotia,” said Michelle Thompson, the province’s health and wellness minister, and the minister responsible for the Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment, in the release.

“There are talented and skilled people around the world who would love to come here, and we would love to have them.”

The Nova Scotia government says this is the result of a recent recruiting trip to Kenya. 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 Kenyans were recruited through the federal Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot, which identifies refugees with in-demand skills who meet regional and provincial immigration requirements.

The Nova Scotia government says it has already supported 42 people through the pilot, including more than 20 continuing care assistants who are now working in the province.

According to the government, the pilot program helps 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.

Bahati Ernestine Hategekimana, a nursing student, former continuing care assistant and RefugePoint economic mobility consultant, says it’s valuable for employers and others in Nova Scotia to see firsthand 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,” said Hategekimana in the statement.

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