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Kenney to ease foreign credential rules

OTTAWA - Employment Minister Jason Kenney is slated to announce an agreement with the provinces to recognize 10 new occupations, incuding welders, carpenters and electricians, to improve foreign-credential recognition.

Kenney will provide details Friday in Vancouver, while Immigration Minister Chris Alexander will make a similar announcement in Toronto.

At last week's meeting of labour ministers in Charlottetown, the lawmakers announced the addition of 10 new target occupations aimed at easing credential requirements for foreign-born Canadians.

On Friday, Kenney and Alexander will announce the precise occupations. They include several skilled trades, a government official said.

The official also said one of the goals of easing credential requirements is to help lessen the need for temporary foreign workers by making better use of the talent that's already in Canada.

Kenney announced a major overhaul of the government's embattled temporary foreign worker program last month, but western premiers have complained the crackdown is unduly hurting their provinces, where there is a shortage of skilled workers in some industries.

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