A step forward: Required work experience to be removed

As a new immigrant to the country, one of the biggest struggles they face is finding a new job as the expenses quickly begin to add up.  Although, there are many challenges they face when trying to find new job opportunities, the biggest one has been not having any local (Canadian) experience.  Reported on May 23rd, Ontario legislators have removed the Canadian work experience requirements for immigrants, and this could be a huge game changer for many professions.  Let’s take a deeper look at what the effects of this will be on the Engineering professions.


The Professional Engineers in Ontario (PEO) has 85,649 members and is the fourth largest regulated profession in Ontario.  For someone who is pursuing a career as a professional engineer, there are a few requirements that they must fulfill to obtain their license:


  • They must obtain an accredited degree in engineering
  • They must have three to four years of on-the-job engineer work experience
  • They must successful complete a technical and ethics exam


In most cases, immigrants with an engineering degree from abroad can go through equivalency review to compare their degrees to local degree requirements.  The biggest barrier has always been gaining local Canadian experience when almost every company is looking for someone to already have it.  Sometimes candidates are simply overlooked when most, if not all their experience are only from abroad.  With the recent announcement of removing the Canadian work experience requirements for immigrants, this would help jump start many careers for those just starting off in Canada and ability to quickly obtain their PEng license.  Although the process will be shortened, EITs must still be tested on their knowledge regarding competencies in technical communication, project management, and professional accountability as 60% of engineers are trained internationally.


Lastly, it’s not hard to understand why legislators decided to remove this requirement as we look at the labour shortage that happened during the COVID pandemic.  According to the statistics, only 25% of immigrants are employed in their field, while almost 300,000 jobs are waiting to be filled in Ontario everyday.  And by implementing this change, it is estimated that we would see a GDP growth of $20 billion. Regulatory bodies like the PEO must comply to these new legislations by December 2nd, 2023.  Those who do not will be fined $100,000 (exemption for public health and safety reasons).


In short, dropping the Canadian experience has a strong positive effect on a productivity increase. It makes things easier for both employers and immigrant job seekers to find jobs in the engineering field.  For years we’ve witnessed internationally trained engineers apply to general labour jobs because they need to make ends meet, due to the lengthy wait time on their licence approval.  Hopefully we will begin to see the effects of this trickle through the market as more businesses begin to accept candidates who may only have international experience only, but in fact are qualified for the job.


Contact us today to speak with one of our Recruitment Specialists and let us help you find new opportunities for the next step in your career!









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