2020-02-24 – The Alberta industry regulator for engineering technologists and technicians is one of the first in the country to abolish the requirement for Canadian education and work experience.
It means new Alberta immigrants in the profession have a much easier time becoming certified in the province.
The Association of Science & Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) still requires applicants to take exams, submit transcripts and prove professional experience.
But Canadian and overseas education and experience are treated equally.
This has improved the employment prospects for many immigrants who were stuck in a cycle of needing Canadian experience to find work and needing work to build Canadian experience.
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Engineering technologists and technicians, under the National Occupational Classification code 2232, are different from professional engineers, who still some Canadian experience to qualify in Alberta.
Statistics Canada says only half of immigrants with a degree in engineering are working in their area of expertise, compare to 66 percent of their Canadian-born peers. Similar, although lesser, differences exist in many STEM occupations.
Credential recognition is an important area being tackled by federal and provincial governments.
Millions of dollars are spent on immigrant integration programs, with credential recognition one of the most important challenges.
Finding a job quickly is one of the key aspects of integrating quickly into Canadian society for new immigrants.
In 2019, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced it would spend $113 million on ways to help newcomers before they arrive in Canada.
The help available includes settlement and employment services as well as licensure applications for economic class, family class, refugees and Francophone immigrants.
With Canada’s federal government planning to welcome more than one million new permanent residents over the next three years, it knows investment in integration infrastructure is required.
In-person services are offered in China, India, and the Philippines, along with a pilot project for in-person Francophone services in Morocco.