Engineers now don’t need Canadian experience for Ontario license

 Engineers now don’t need Canadian experience for Ontario license

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Ontario’s labour minister has made a crucial announcement today, stating that internationally-trained engineers will no longer be required to have Canadian experience for obtaining a license in the province. Minister Monte McNaughton hailed this decision as a “game changer”. He emphasized its potential to in particular address the staggering 7,000 vacant engineering positions in Ontario.

Professional Engineers Ontario becomes the first regulatory association to eliminate Canadian work experience requirements for immigrant engineers. Significantly, this marks a big milestone and the move follows the introduction of legislation in October 2021. The legislation aims to remove such qualifications for various regulated professions and skilled trades unless granted a ministerial exemption. Further, this legislation includes over 30 non-healthcare-related professions and trades, including architects, accountants, and electricians.

“I hear it every day that the single biggest barrier to immigrants landing well-paying jobs is a requirement many regulators have for Canadian work experience. This move is a game changer that will help thousands of qualified immigrant engineers pursue their dreams over the coming years.”

Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton

The removal of Canadian work experience as a prerequisite for engineering licensure in Ontario is expected to have far-reaching effects. Currently, there’s a considerable gap between the 300,000 unfilled Ontario jobs and the limited internationally-trained immigrants working in their fields. With only a quarter of these immigrants employed in their chosen professions, the policy change aims to bridge this disparity. Moreover, it aims to help the province harness the valuable skills and expertise brought by internationally trained engineers.

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Removal of Canadian experience will not dilute qualification rigour

Professional Engineers Ontario reports that internationally trained engineers make up to 60 percent of their yearly license applicants. Vice-president Christopher Chahine highlighted that this signifies a shift from a geography-based model to a competency-based approach for the regulator. This is a recent change, which took effect only last week.

Chahine stressed the organization’s commitment to safeguarding the public interest by ensuring that all licensed professional engineers meet rigorous qualifications. She also mentioned that the objective is to allow only qualified, competent, and ethically sound individuals to practice engineering.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton expressed his expectation that regulators subject to Ontario’s legislation would take proactive measures to eliminate any existing Canadian experience requirements by year-end.

The provincial government reports that engineers ranked as the fourth largest regulated profession in Ontario in 2019. Additionally, it boasted a membership of 85,649 individuals. Among these members, 24,258 professionals received their training internationally.

As Ontario continues to tackle workforce shortages and foster an environment supportive of internationally trained professionals, this progressive policy change sets the stage for a more inclusive and dynamic economy in the province.

Also read: Digital staffing solution Jombone secures CA$1M for growth


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