Careers: Trying to Engineer Your Success in Canada

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Published March 2005. Some information in this article is outdated.

What does a Chemical Engineering Technologist from Colombia, a Facilities Engineering Manager from Jamaica and a Design Engineering Graduate from China have in common?

They found Options. Options is an innovative bridging program that helps internationally trained

professionals in engineering and applied science technology establish new engineering technology careers in Ontario. Options is a partnership program between OACETT (Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists) and CLTA (Centre for Language Training and Assessment), and is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Many internationally trained professionals feel the major barriers they face in Canada include:

  • Lack of recognition of international qualifications
  • Lack of technology-related Canadian work experience
  • Inability to communicate effectively withprospective employers
  • Lack of Canadian networking contacts.

Options is designed to break down these barriers. Once a participant has completed a preliminary evaluation and is qualified to join Options, they are assisted and guided with:

  • OACETT Certification
  • Effective Marketing Strategies when seeking employment in the Engineering Technology and Applied Science sectors
  • Training in Business Communications and Employment Solutions

Employer Outreach Activities and Networking Opportunities Sharon Leonard, Director, Member Services and Benefits at OACETT, states, “We are dedicated to our Options participants. Our goal is to provide networking opportunities, employment outreach activities and to bridge the gap between employers and internationally trained professionals. We cannot guarantee employment; however, we will do our utmost to provide the valuable tools and resources to facilitate their entry into Ontario’s workforce. The certification standards are widely recognized amongst Ontario employers and this is what will assist them in breaking down the barriers.”

As CLTA Senior Manager Carolyn Cohen adds, “We’re pleased with the results to date that show approximately 50% of our Options participants who have successfully completed the program find work in their engineering-related field. These results compare favourably to a recent CAPE survey that revealed that only 17% of all internationally trained engineering professionals in Ontario are employed in engineering related jobs .*”

To learn how Options can help you, please call 905-949-0049 x 2407 or visit their website

* Source: A 2004 survey conducted by CAPE (The Council for Access to the Profession of Engineering)

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