In a significant move that has garnered widespread attention, the province of Ontario in Canada has taken a bold step towards supporting the engineering community by removing the Canadian work experience requirement for engineers. This new development aims to facilitate the entry and integration of skilled engineers into the Ontario job market, fostering a more inclusive and dynamic environment for professionals from around the world.
Recently, on May 23, in Toronto, the Ontario Minister of Labour Immigration, Training, and Skills Development announced the removal of the work experience requirement for engineers from their application criteria for the first time in the province.
Earlier, engineers seeking employment in Ontario faced a notable obstacle in the form of a mandatory Canadian work experience requirement. This prerequisite often posed challenges for internationally educated engineers who possessed extensive experience and qualifications but lacked the specific Canadian work experience that employers sought.
However, under the most recent PEO work experience requirements, candidates requesting a license must be able to provide 48 months of verifiable and acceptable engineering experience after graduation and include at least 12 months working for a licensed professional engineer in Canada. The change is prompted by the Working for Workers Act of 2021.
According to PEO President Roydon Fraser, a total of 60% of the license applications submitted each year are from engineers with international training. Thus, eliminating the prerequisite of Canadian work experience will hasten the licensing of skilled foreign engineers to the province.
The change is bringing Benefits to Engineers
With this change, engineers with international work experience and qualifications will have equal opportunities to compete for positions within Ontario. By recognizing the value of diverse perspectives, the province aims to attract a broader pool of talented professionals, driving innovation and growth in the engineering industry.
Enhanced Workforce Diversity
The removal of the work experience requirement not only benefits individual engineers but also promotes diversity within the workforce. By embracing engineers from various backgrounds, Ontario can harness a wealth of knowledge, thus fostering a more resilient engineering community.
Addressing the Skills Gap
The decision to eliminate the Canadian work experience requirement demonstrates a commitment to address this challenge by tapping into the global talent pool. By providing opportunities for highly skilled engineers, the province aims to bridge the skills gap and ensure a sustainable future for its engineering industry.
Ontario’s Commitment to Global Talent
Ontario’s decision to eliminate the Canadian work experience requirement for engineers reflects a broader commitment to attracting and retaining global talent. By actively welcoming professionals from diverse backgrounds, the province aims to bolster its reputation as an inclusive hub for engineering expertise.
Ontario’s Approach Towards Meeting Labor Shortage Gaps
Under the existing system, a newcomer who has the knowledge and expertise necessary to pass the licensing examinations for their profession could nevertheless face barriers to registration if they have no prior work experience in Canada. This means that many people must obtain this experience through any employment they can find, even if it’s in a field unrelated to their field, like retail or hospitality.
The idea behind this is to gain newcomers the accreditation needed in regulated professions in order to fill the open positions in the province of Ontario. Province, to make it simpler for other newcomers to work in regulated professions, is taking action. For instance, it recently approved laws that will exclude nurses from the need to register with the relevant health regulatory colleges in order to work in the province. In light of this development for engineers, further solidifies Ontario’s position as a destination of choice for skilled professionals seeking a supportive and inclusive work environment.