Ontario Removes Canadian Work Experience Requirement For Engineers

Ontario Removes Canadian Work Experience Requirement For Engineers

Surya Rathee Surya Rathee
[Published 30 May, 2023 | 05:06 AM]
About Author - 4 min read

The Ontario government is putting efforts to support internationally-trained immigrants in pursuing careers in their respective fields of study. Recently, a historic legislation was introduced, banning the necessity of Canadian work experience in over 30 regulated professions. Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) has become the first association to embrace this change by removing the Canadian work experience requirement from their application criteria.

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This progressive step has the potential to assist numerous qualified professionals in realizing their aspirations while upholding Ontario's exceptional licensing and examination standards.

A stronger Ontario that benefits everyone

Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development, Monte McNaughton, remarked, "It is a common experience to encounter skilled newcomers, such as engineers, doctors, or accountants, working in low-paying jobs that do not align with their professions. Our government is committed to building a stronger Ontario that benefits everyone, and we will achieve this by unlocking talent within our province. I applaud Professional Engineers Ontario for taking this historic stride in supporting our mission."

Every day, around 300,000 job vacancies remain unfilled across the Ontario Occupation In-demand List, including thousands of positions in the engineering sector, resulting in billions of dollars lost in productivity. Simultaneously, studies reveal that only a quarter of internationally trained immigrants in Ontario are employed in their respective regulated professions. Currently, even if newcomers possess the necessary skills and technical expertise to pass licensing exams, they may be denied registration in their professions due to a lack of Canadian work experience, even if they have worked in unrelated sectors like retail.

A positive change to Ontario’s employment sector

Roydon Fraser, President of PEO, highlighted the significance of this change, stating, "Each year, PEO receives license applications from internationally trained engineers, accounting for up to 60 percent of the total. By eliminating the requirement for Canadian experience in engineering license applications, PEO will enable qualified international applicants to obtain licenses more efficiently, allowing them to make valuable contributions to the economy as engineers. PEO will continue to ensure that all professional engineers meet stringent qualifications for licensing and that only suitably qualified individuals practice engineering through comprehensive competency-based assessments and other evaluation methods."

Ontario has become the first province in Canada to ban unfair or discriminatory Canadian work experience requirements, enabling newcomers that immigrate to Canada under Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) and other linked OINP streams - to pursue their desired professions.

As of December 2023, all unjustified requirements for Canadian experience will be automatically deemed void unless an exemption is granted by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development, based on considerations of public health and safety.

Source: ontario.ca

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