Labour Market Orientation and Employment Preparation for Foreign-Trained Engineers in Ontario - a concept from the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers

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In the fall of 2001, representatives from Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Ontario Administration of Settlement and Integration Services (CIC-OASIS) and Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC-Lawrence Square) met with representatives from the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) to seek advice about how to include employers in discussions about ways to help foreign-trained engineers in Toronto obtain employment in the engineering profession.

There was a discussion about the difficulties faced by foreign-trained engineers who want to practice their profession in Canada.

Download the Reports

The following reports are available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

The discussion continued about ways in which OSPE could assist in bringing to the attention of employers the existence of highly trained immigrant engineers in Canada who could help to remedy the looming shortage of skilled engineers; and to obtain suggestions from employers about any additional skills these individuals may need to enhance their employment opportunities and career progression.

HRDC agreed to consider an application for funding from OSPE to conduct a focus group session with employers to facilitate a discussion of the above issues. It was also decided that a focus group session with foreign-trained engineers to determine their needs and the barriers they face in practicing their profession in Canada would be useful.

OSPE also stated that it would be interested in helping the foreign-trained engineers acquire some additional skills and knowledge that would help them to become more employable by offering a course for foreign-trained engineers that would highlight how engineering in Canada differs from other countries. Topics such as the status of engineers, how engineering interfaces with other professions, project management skills and teamwork skills were suggested by

OSPE. CIC agreed to consider an application for funding from OSPE for the design of such a course.

In December, OSPE presented CIC with an “Initial Draft of OSPE’s Proposed 33-Week Program”, a concept designed with the assistance of several organizations that it had selected to help it deliver this potential project in partnership. CIC noted that it would be necessary to demonstrate that prospective employers and clients would support such a project before a formal proposal could be entertained.

The co-funding of a pilot project for foreign-trained engineers in Toronto with CIC and HRDC Lawrence Square was being explored at that time by CIC, HRDC and the JSW Advisory Committee. This pilot, if approved for funding, would be independently evaluated to determine whether it was successful before any decisions would be made about continuing it or replicating it in other locations and a Call for Proposals process would be required to select Service Providers (SPOs) to deliver it on an on-going basis.

CIC and HRDC provided some feedback about the delivery structure of OSPE’s conceptual project, as well as about paying a placement agency for workplace participants, the client intake process, language assessment and credential assessment by the PEO (Professional Engineers of Ontario).

OSPE then submitted a revision of the concept to CIC and HRDC. OSPE agreed to conduct the focus group sessions requested by CIC and HRDC prior to any decision on the submission of an application for funding.

OSPE stated that each work placement will be reviewed by PEO to ensure that the work the client performs during the placement period would count towards the one year Canadian work experience requirement for licensure.

See focus group reports for more information.

There are four reports available for download in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.