The Government of Saskatchewan has renewed an agreement that assists recent immigrants in earning the necessary credentials to work and live in the province.
The Immigrant Access Fund of Saskatchewan, Inc. (IAF SK) is a non-profit organization providing character-based repayable microloans of up to $10,000 to recent immigrants to the province. The proposed agreement signed between the provincial government and IAF SK will provide $204,131 in operational funding to enable 58 microloans.
The microloans are for activities related to training, upgrading, licensing, certification, registration and/or memberships required for employment in their occupation in Saskatchewan.
“Immigration is an important part in meeting our population targets as outlined in the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth,” Minister responsible for Immigration Jeremy Harrison said. “As our population continues to climb, we need to ensure new immigrants can use their education and training to be active contributors to our provincial economy.”
“Thanks to the continued support of the Ministry of the Economy, Immigrant Access Fund of Saskatchewan is able to continue supporting immigrants to Saskatchewan in their professional pursuits, so that they may continue contributing to the province’s social and economic success,” IAF SK Executive Director Carrie Church, said.
The period of the new 14-month contract will be April 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015. In addition, new provincial loan eligibility criteria will ensure the program helps those it was intended to serve (e.g., recent immigrants without access to traditional credit) and loan support activities will lead to qualifications and employment in Saskatchewan.