Home » 2012 » October

Monthly Archives: October 2012

Some Aging Nations Look to Immigration to Avert Economic Squeeze

Annual population percent change in the world....
Annual population percent change in the world. Source: CIA World Factbook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By: Albert Bozzo

If you’ve ever wondered how the U.S. population could increase by almost 60 percent — to more than 300 million people — between the 1965 and 2010 national censuses, look no further than the Hart-Cellar Act, which ended a century-old policy of discriminating against non-northern European immigrants.

Crowd of people on the street.

About half of the U.S. population growth over the last 45 years can be attributed to immigrants and their descendants, a demographic flood that has forever changed the nation. Today, one in five Americans is either first- or second-generation U.S. residents, according to the Census Bureau.
During roughly the same period, the population of Japan increased about 30 percent, to almost 128 million. Only about 2.1 million were immigrants, according toJapan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.
Japan also happens to be the oldest nation in the world and has one of the lowest fertility rates, according to the CIA Fact Book. After years of marginal growth, according to national census data, the population is now actually shrinking, experts say.
As striking as that is, Japan is not alone. Italy, Monaco, Greece and Germany have similar demographic profiles, according to a variety of statistics, and South Korea is likely to resemble Japan in a generation if dramatic changes are not undertaken.
The difference between these countries and the U.S.? Immigration policies.
“Countries that have traditionally been destinations for large immigration tend to have younger populations,” said Jacob Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “There is another link, which is probably more important for the preparation of the aging, and that’s if you have a relatively liberal immigration policy you tend to have relatively higher fertility rates. Also, having a fairly liberal economy, open labor markets, easy access and an economy that is relatively flexible is often reflected in immigration policy.”
This human dynamic may seem merely like demography’s ultimate case study, but it also has enormous implications for the economic health of nations and the quality of life of their citizens.
“An aging population means a decline in the labor force,” Kirkegaard added, reflecting a widely held opinion among experts. “It lowers potential [economic] growth rates. Where it becomes very problematic is the impact it has on social spending.”
Countries from North America to Europe to Asia-Pacific are grappling with this demographic time bomb, which threatens the sustainability of national pension and health-care systems, and is prompting fundamental changes to retirement law and labor markets. For some developed nations, the problem will get much worse before it gets even a little better.
For instance, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the European Union will experience a 14 percent decrease in its workforce and a 7 percent increase in its consumer populations by 2030.
A European Commission study shows that countries are not only raising the retirement age, but are also introducing a contingency clause that changes the size of the pension benefit based on expected demographic changes such at the time of retirement.
At the same time, countries such as Italy and Germany have liberalized immigration policy on top of the changes that came with the launch of the European Union’s single currency a dozen years ago, which opened borders to workers across a wide swath of member states.
Others, such as Japan and South Korea, however, have barely budged. (Read moreChina’s Aging Problem)
“Immigrants come in at the prime of their youth,” said Madeleine Sumption, a senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, MPI, who specializes in labor markets “These people have a whole working life ahead of them. They earn an income and pay taxes, which helps the shortfall in public finances.”
Statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development illustrate the disparity among its member countries.
Over the 2000-2010 period, the percentage of immigrant workers, known as foreign worker inflows, in Japan and South Korea was relatively flat at 0.3 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. (Read more: Investing in Aging Asia.)

Milan, Italy

In contrast, inflows to Italy, Spain and the U.K. rose between 200 percent and 400 percent.
Italy recently overtook the U.S. in the pace of net migration, ranking among the top 25 in the world, according to the CIA Fact Book. Japan and South Korea ranked in the low 90s with no statistical growth in net migration.
“The European countries realize they need more workers,” said Nicholas Eberstadt, a political economist and demographer at the American Enterprise Institute, AEI. “Immigration augments the labor pool and changes the ratio between workers and retirees.”
These structural changes, which experts said are often unpopular, combined with immigration, can make a demographic difference. Such policies, however, must remain in place for long periods of time because second-generation immigrants usually adapt to local custom, which means smaller family sizes. Thus, new waves of immigrants are needed. The U.S., Australia and Canada are good examples of this dynamic.
Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute added that most countries still need a “more strategic immigration policy,” such as one that brings in scientists and engineers, and also keeps track of “changing trends in the labor markets.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

International Monetary Fund chief says Canada should be economic model

TORONTO – The head of the International Monetary Fund says measures taken to protect Canada’s economy should be a model for countries trying to fix their financial systems.
Christine Lagarde said Thursday that Canada has been a leader in creating policies intended to rein in the build-up of household debt.
“Abroad, Canada is identified by its values of co-ordination and consensus building, which have given your country influence beyond its years,” she said.
“Building a safe and stable financial system is in the best interests of the global community, but it also serves the self-interest of nations,” she added.
Lagarde made the comments at a dinner held in Toronto by the Canada International Council — an organization created to promote Canada’s position on the world market.
She pointed to the decision by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to boost down payments on new mortgages for homebuyers as an example of restraint that others should follow.
“All of these new reforms comprise the tools so far that will help us shape the future financial system,” she said.
“We must shape the system so it cannot again hold us ransom to the consequences of its failings.”
Lagarde’s speech focused on global financial reforms that while “heading in the right direction,” still haven’t delivered the safer financial system they were designed to create.
“Some financial systems are still under distress and crisis-fighting efforts are inadvertently impeding reforms,” Legarde said.
She singled out Basel III requirements as one of the financial reforms that had “generous implementation timetables,” that have been in development since 2010.
Under the proposed Basel III rules, a bank’s required capital levels must meet certain requirements, amongst other standards. The intention of the rules is to set a standard on key measures of a bank’s health and its ability to endure future economic downturns.
“There are many vested interests working against change and pushback is intensifying,” Legarde said.
“It is interesting how some banks say the new regulations will be too burdensome, but then spend hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying to kill them.”
Canadian banks have been proactive in reinforcing their balance sheets to meet the Basel III requirements ahead of schedule, and are widely considered a model for international banks because they weathered the global recession better than others.
“Most countries have committed to adopt some or all of the new regulations, and some have moved further ahead with their own national policies,” Lagarde said.
“The challenge now is to proceed to the end of the reform path all together.”

Canadian Immigration Department Enacts New Marriage Sponsorship Rules

English: Will and Kate on their first Overseas...
English: Will and Kate on their first Overseas Royal Visit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced new spousal immigration sponsorship regulations today to reduce the incidence of marriage fraud. The new rules require sponsored spouses who have no children with their sponsor to be in a live-in relationship with their spouse for two years to get full permanent residence status.

Under rules in place until today’s announcement, a sponsored spouse received permanent residence on the day they arrived in Canada, and subsequently could leave their spouse and retain their residency status in Canada.
Calls to reform immigration sponsorship rules have increased as several high-profile cases, like those of Lainie Towell and Heinz Munz, have brought the issue of foreign spouses leaving their Canadian husbands and wives soon after arriving in Canada to the public’s attention.
The new rules will not apply to sponsored spouses who have a child with their sponsor on the date of their spousal sponsorship application submission. The regulation also includes an exemption for sponsored spouses or partners who suffer abuse or neglect from their Canadian partner or someone related to their partner.
Those not exempt from the regulation must be in a relationship with their sponsoring spouse or partner for two years from the date that they receive their permanent residency or have their status in Canada revoked.
“I have consulted widely with Canadians, and especially with victims of marriage fraud, who have told me clearly that we must take action to stop this abuse of our immigration system,” said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in announcing the new rules.
“Sometimes the sponsor in Canada is being duped and sometimes it’s a commercial transaction. Implementing a two-year conditional permanent residence period will help deter marriage fraud, prevent the callous victimization of innocent Canadians and help us put an end to these scams.”
Until today’s announcement, Canada was one of the few countries that did not have an initial conditional permanent residence period for foreign nationals sponsored for immigration by a spouse, and consequently, CIC says was considered a “soft target” by criminal organizations seeking to exploit Canadian immigration rules.
Several large-scale marriage scams have been uncovered in recent years, including the case of over 600 people involved in trading marriage sponsorships for money between 2007 and 2009.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The benefits and risks of foreign students

Canada stands to benefit greatly from an immigration program that, since 2009, has been fast-tracking thousands of prospective residents who have done post-secondary studies in the country.
But there are perils for Canadian academia and for the excellent reputation of Canadian educators if some students are only seeking to exploit the new rules to avoid the usual immigration checks and enter Canada through a back door, rather than to gain an education.
The question arises because foreign students now have the right to work while studying in Canada and for as long as three years afterwards and, for the first time, they can apply for permanent residency from within Canada.
It is a live issue in India because thousands of students from here come to Canada every year to study and many more are likely to want to come.
London’s Metropolitan University provides a troubling example of what can go wrong when a school focuses on foreign students. Two months ago, the U.K. Border Agency revoked its “highly trusted status.” This denied the school, whose patron is Prince Philip, the right to sponsor visas for students from outside the European Union. Those foreign students already studying there had their visas revoked. This was devastating for Metropolitan because nearly half of its 22,000 foreign students come from overseas, according to the London Daily Telegraph.
The order to stop taking foreign students came after the Border Agency concluded that the school could not prove if many of its foreign students could speak English.
The saga of Metropolitan’s phoney students may be a cautionary tale for Canada.
Until now, Canada has only accepted 7,000 people in the Canadian Experience Class program, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said last month. But the government’s goal is to welcome 200,000 foreign students over the next 10 years. Most of them would have what amounts to preferred status to make application from within Canada to permanently reside in Canada.
I attended a students’ fair offered last week by the Canadian University Application Centre near New Delhi. The joy expressed by those at the event who learned that they had been accepted into one of the 12 Canadian institutions of higher learning was contagious.
Students coming to Canada from not only India but many other countries get a good deal. They benefit from an education at such respected universities as St. Mary’s in Halifax, Bishop’s in Quebec’s Eastern Townships and Victoria. Moreover, tuition costs less in Canada than at comparable institutions in Britain or Australia and a fraction of what it costs to undertake similar studies in the United States.
Nevertheless, it is clear from speaking with some of these kids – as well as university admission officers from Canada on a five-city tour of India – that the key attraction of such programs for many of them is that it allows them to gain Canadian work experience at the same time they study and almost guarantees them permanent residency in Canada when their studies end.
Canada gains bright, motivated, well-educated young immigrants more attuned to the ways of the country than other prospective newcomers who have never worked or studied within its borders. The presence of so many foreign students whose educations have not cost Canadian taxpayers a penny also preserves the jobs of some professors and teachers. This is a big help at a time when crippling budget deficits are pushing up tuition fees and forcing colleges and universities to make ruthless choices about what to chop.
Still, hanging over the process is the question of how many “students” bound for Canada are genuine. One of the complications confronting admission officers is that it is especially difficult to judge students’ transcripts if they are from countries such as India, where standards vary widely and bogus documents of every kind abound.
Admissions officers visiting India last week acknowledged that they were acutely aware of the danger of dumbing down Canada’s academic standards and that measures were in place to ensure that this does not happen.
But more than half of Canada’s foreign students enrol at community colleges, not universities. Whether the same standards apply at all these colleges is another matter entirely. The federal government must ask hard questions about who is accepted to study based on what marks and whether attendance is closely policed. There are rumblings that grave problems exist at colleges that have accepted a large number of foreign students.
To preserve the quality of higher education in Canada and to avoid tarnishing the country’s reputation in the booming and highly competitive international education market, the government must ensure that schools not only regard foreign students as a financial bonanza, which they are, but that maintaining high educational standards is paramount.

Read more:http://www.ottawacitizen.com/benefits+risks+foreign+students/7449440/story.html#ixzz2ASZbcVt3

Career Resources for Newcomer Midwives

Midwives in Canada have fought long and hard to have their profession recognized. It was the 1990s before they achieved their goal of having midwifery become a regulated profession, in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan. It is not yet regulated in the other Provinces and Territories, but efforts are still being made there; and you may still need to register with the regulatory body for the profession in those areas of the country, where one exists. New Brunswick has just regulated midwifery, and is still in the process of setting up and integrating midwifery as part of their health care system.
If you are an Internationally Educated Midwife who wishes to continue practicing your profession in Canada, these resources will help you achieve your goal.

All of Canada:

The Canadian Midwifery Regulators Consortium is a network of midwifery regulatory bodies in Canada. Their website has information about the regulation of midwifery in Canada, in English and French, with a special section for Internationally Educated Midwives.
The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials has information for Internationally Educated Midwives wishing to practice in Canada.
The Canadian Association of Midwives also offers links and information for Internationally Educated Midwives who want to bridge their qualifications and practice in Canada.


The Association of Ontario Midwives has a webpage with the steps needed for an internationally trained midwife to begin practicing in Ontario.
The Government of Ontario provides a Career Map, with details about Internationally Educated Midwives can bridge their qualifications and begin working in Ontario.
Ryerson University offers the International Midwifery Pre-registration Program (IMPP), the only route to midwifery practice in Ontario for Internationally Educated Midwives. It is a 9-month part-time bridging program that includes skills assessments, information, mentoring, clinical placements and a final exam.
HealthForceOntario has information and can provide advisory services for Internationally Educated Midwives on the path toward practice.
The Ontario Midwives website includes support for Internationally Educated Midwives wishing to practice in Ontario.

British Columbia:

The College of Midwives of British Columbia offers programs, self-assessments and links for Internationally Educated Midwives wishing to practice in British Columbia.
The Multi-Jurisdictional Midwifery Bridging Project is a program designed to help Internationally Educated Midwives meet registration requirements for practicing in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia or Saskatchewan.
The Skills Connect for Immigrants Program has programs to help newcomers in BC find qualification-bridging programs, plan their careers, navigate the Canadian job market and connect with employment in their fields.
WelcomeBC has information for midwives wishing to participate in the Provincial Nominee Program. Midwives and other health care professionals are listed under “Strategic Occupations”.


The Multi-Jurisdictional Midwifery Bridging Project is a program designed to help Internationally Educated Midwives meet registration requirements for practicing in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia or Saskatchewan.
The Alberta Association of Midwives has information about midwifery in Alberta, and links to the Multi-Jurisdictional Midwifery Bridging Project (see above).
Directions for Immigrants provides information for Internationally Educated Midwives, but still details the PLEA program, which has been replaced by the Multi-Jurisdictional Midwifery Bridging Project (see above).
Alberta Health and Wellness regulates the profession of midwifery in the Province.


The Multi-Jurisdictional Midwifery Bridging Project is a program designed to help Internationally Educated Midwives meet registration requirements for practicing in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia or Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan Canada Immigration has an overview and career map with the steps to licensing for Internationally Educated Midwives.
The Saskatchewan College of Midwives provides information on how Internationally Educated Midwives can become licensed to practice in Saskatchewan.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health offers this application for a bursary (grant for payment or partial payment of tuition) for Internationally Educated Midwives accepted into the Multi-Jurisdictional Midwifery Bridging Project (see above).
The Midwives Association of Saskatchewan is a professional association which links to the Multi-Jurisdictional Midwifery Bridging Project (see above).


The Multi-Jurisdictional Midwifery Bridging Project is a program designed to help Internationally Educated Midwives meet registration requirements for practicing in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia or Saskatchewan.
The College of Midwives of Manitoba is the regulatory body for the profession of midwifery in the Province, with links and support for Internationally Educated Midwives who want to practice in Manitoba.
The Midwives Association of Manitoba is a professional association with information about a project under development called “Pathways to Midwifery”, at versity College of the North, for Internationally Educated Midwives wishing to practice in Manitoba.
Immigrate to Manitoba, Canada is a government immigration website with information for Internationally Educated Midwives wishing to practice in the Province.


Ordre des sages-femmes du Québec is the regulatory body dedicated to the profession of midwifery in Quebec. Their website has information for Midwives educated outside of either Québec or France. Their website also features an evaluation tool. French only.

New Brunswick:

No Provincial resources currently available. See “All of Canada” for resources.

Prince Edward Island:

No Provincial resources currently available. See “All of Canada” for resources.

Nova Scotia:

The Multi-Jurisdictional Midwifery Bridging Project is a program designed to help Internationally Educated Midwives meet registration requirements for practicing in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia or Saskatchewan.
The Midwifery Regulatory Council of Nova Scotia is the governing body of the profession in the Province, and has resources for Internationally Educated Midwives.

Newfoundland and Labrador:

The Association of Midwives of Newfoundland and Labrador is a professional association promoting the profession in the Province.


No Provincial resources currently available. See “All of Canada” for resources.

Northwest Territories:

The Multi-Jurisdictional Midwifery Bridging Project is a program designed to help Internationally Educated Midwives meet registration requirements for practicing in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia or Saskatchewan.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Easing Barriers for Newcomer Physicians

It seems like every week there is a story in the news about the shortage of medical professionals in Canada. For those of you who trained as physicians in your country of origin, this looked good for your chances to immigrate, as it meant more points with which you qualify. You arrive in Canada expecting to quickly get your license to practice medicine, but discover that the process of getting your license depends on where you settle, and can take a long time; longer, perhaps, than you can afford to take with a family to look after, with no guarantee you will be able to practice your profession at the end of it. While the image of a doctor from Poland driving a cab in Toronto may be the exception rather than the rule, it is true that many individuals who have trained and practiced as doctors in their countries of origin are not practicing their profession here. There are several reasons for this. Immigration is handled at the federal level, and it is they who decide which professions Canada needs most, such as medical practitioners like doctors and nurses. However, the medical professions in Canada, unlike in many other countries, are regulated by professional organisations within each province, rather than centrally at the federal level. Each province has its own rules and processes for licensing physicians, and there are a lot of complications in the system, including:
“There are a lot of pieces in the puzzle that have to come together,” says Lynne Godfroy of Neighbourhood Link Support Services (on Danforth), “and if one piece is out of alignment, then opportunities [for the newcomer physician to get licensed] are lost.”
And those aren’t the only barriers. Standards of practice are different from country to country, and each province has its own standards and requirements that a newcomer physician must meet. Even if a newcomer physician has practiced in his or her country of origin, he or she must still be assessed to meet those standards and determine whether any additional training is needed.
Ontario collects more than 50 percent of newcomers to Canada, and of those, 90 percent settle in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). There are six medical schools in Ontario and domestic graduates tend to be given preference to fill residency positions. At the end of the 1990’s, for example, there were only 24 residency positions available to internationally trained physicians in Ontario; and if there were many graduates from local medical schools that year, those spaces were turned over to local graduates, a practice that is common across the country.
However, since 2000, much has changed. The Ontario government (which funds residency positions) has increased the number of spaces available for internationally trained medical graduates (IMGs) from 24 to 200. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario reports that in 2006, 42 percent of licenses granted went to IMGs, up from an average of 25 percent of previous years. Additionally, the College, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Ontario’s six medical schools have been working together to simplify the registration and licensing process and increase the opportunities for assessment and training for newcomer physicians.
While increasing the number of residency spaces has improved the chances for newcomer physicians to become licensed, there are many more applying for those positions than there are positions available. With only the most qualified being accepted, competition is fierce and there are many challenges. An individual must undergo assessment examinations and achieve the highest score he or she can put on their application for a residency training position. Medical schools will choose candidates from this pool of applicants to interview, and the Program Director of the school will offer the residency training positions to those they consider to be the best qualified.
HealthForceOntario Access Centre for Internationally Educated Health Professionals understands the challenges and barriers that IMGs face. The Access Centre is part of a newly formed provincial government agency and is the only organization of its kind in Canada. For newcomer physicians and other internationally trained health care professionals, the Access Centre offers information, advice and support to assist newcomers in the process for licensure and practice.
The Access Centre works with each person, based on what experience they have. For example, a person who has recently graduated from medical school in their country of origin may have different needs and require different information than someone who has been actively practicing medicine for several years. The Access Centre will help newcomers to understand how the process works, work out how long it will take them to practice medicine, and help them develop a plan to achieve their goals. If, for example, a newcomer physician has a family to support and the time to get a license will take too long, a counsellor might suggest other professions their medical education and training might be used for, such as working for a pharmaceutical or insurance company, or perhaps becoming a medical technician or researcher. The Centre also refers the newcomer to language training centres and community organizations to help with the settlement process. The next stage in the process for the newcomer physician is to take assessment examinations. In Ontario, this is handled by the Centre for the Evaluation of Health Professionals Educated Abroad (CEHPEA). CEHPEA is strictly an assessment centre. Newcomer physicians use the results of the CEHPEA assessment to compete for residency training positions.
Newcomer physicians often need additional training because medical programmes outside of Canada may not have the same content, duration, or access to technology as Canadian programmes.
Despite the improvements over the past eight years, as well as the introduction of programs like the Career Transition Program for Internationally Trained Physicians (see page 25), the process for newcomer physicians to get their licenses and to begin practicing their profession is still fairly complicated and time consuming. Decisions made in the 1990’s by the government of the day in Ontario have had a negative effect on the health care profession which is only now being dealt with, in part by easing the barriers that internationally trained physicians have had to face. One suggestion that has been made is to create an arm’s length, independent body that would work outside of the influence of both the federal and provincial governments, that would look at all the areas that affect newcomer physicians, from immigration to licensure, and make sure that the process is made as simple as possible, in all provinces.
For more information about any of the organizations mentioned above and their roles in the process, please visit their websites.

Enhanced by Zemanta

JVS Helps Build Your Case for a Job in Architecture

English: Devonian Pond,Ryerson University, Tor...
English: Devonian Pond,Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Immigrant Professionals Leveraging Architectural Knowledge for New Opportunities (I-PLAN)
“Our primary goal is to provide Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs) in architecture with the necessary tools to successfully integrate into the architectural workplace in Canada.”
Philip Hollett, Architect & Program Manager, I-PLAN
If you’re an Internationally Educated Professional (IEP) in architecture – then sign up now for this unique bridging program – designed by JVS Toronto in partnership with Ryerson University’s Chang School of Continuing Education, Career Edge and the Ontario Tourism Education Council (OTEC). Funded by the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada, the I-PLAN program consists of six cohorts (classes or groups of students) which will be delivered over three years. The course will run for 14 weeks, followed by mentoring, internships and employment coaching, all of which is provided free of charge to participants.
“Space is still available for the first cohort of 20 participants, scheduled to start on May 14, 2012.”
For eligibility to the program, applicants require:
  • Minimum language level of CLB 8.
  • Undergraduate degree in architecture or its equivalent from a recognized university program outside of Canada.
  • Applicants with an equivalent degree in a related field may also be considered for admission to the program.
  • A minimum of two years work experience in architecture or a related field, either paid or voluntary, obtained outside of Canada.
Designed in consultation with program partners and stakeholders, the JVS I-PLAN program addresses key barriers faced by internationally trained architects, including lack of Canadian experience and the lack of sector specific job search support and advice. The program helps you prepare for successful integration into the workplace by developing a solid understanding of the architectural workplace in Canada.
Program components include:
  • Three architectural academic courses customized for IEPs in architecture. Designed to address the specific knowledge gaps resulting from the lack of Canadian experience – and delivered by Ryerson University – the courses cover 1) Building Codes and Regulations; 2) Materials and Methods; and 3) Sustainable Buildings.
  • A Canadian Workplace Essentials course. Developed by OTEC, this course was customized to improve your understanding of cultural aspects of the Canadian workplace and to give you a competitive edge.
  • Employment Preparation Activities delivered by JVS alongside the academic courses will include employment services and job search and job retention strategies, designed to address the lack of available sector specific services for IEPs in architecture.
  • Internship Placements facilitated by Career Edge though its Career Bridge Internships.
  • Work Experience Placements facilitated by JVS.
For further information on the program visit the I-PLAN webpage on the JVS website at http://www.jvstoronto.org/index.php?page=iplan. If you wish to apply or require more details,please call 416-649-1700 or send an email with contact information to iplan@jvstoronto.org

Source: http://www.cnmag.ca/work-in-your-field/73-architecture/1218-jvs-helps-build-your-case-for-a-job-in-architecture-arc

Enhanced by Zemanta

Jobs: Finding Employment in Engineering

English: This is the logo for the University o...
English: This is the logo for the University of Alberta Chapter for Engineers Without Borders Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who hires engineers? It’s almost easier to say “Who doesn’t?”. Engineers are the cogs who keep the wheels of industry turning. Getting natural resources out of the ground requires water resources engineers, forest engineers, metallurgical, petroleum and mine engineers. Process and materials engineers make those raw materials market-ready, and mechanical engineers design the machines that use the raw materials to manufacture goods. It could be said that engineers build and maintain the infrastructure that permits and supports our entire quality of life. Construction, power generation and telecommunications all employ thousands upon thousands of engineers.
But those are far from the only places that hire engineers. Candy maker Mars Canada hires engineers, as does seafood processor and marketer High Liner. From toymakers to weapons makers, from construction to demolition, you’ll find engineers behind the scenes almost everywhere you look. Even the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) – employs engineers and engineering technologists.All of this speaks to the fact that there are more and different employment possibilities out there than you’ve ever dreamed – and that if you gain as much knowledge and experience as you can, work hard and keep an open mind – you should eventually become well-employed in your field.

So Why Are You Having Trouble Finding a Job in Your Field?
Immigrant advocacy groups have long protested that regulated professions unfairly create and maintain barriers that keep immigrants from succeeding. If there wasn’t some truth to this, the province of Ontario would never have needed to establish the Office of the Fairness Commissioner in order to ensure transparency, objectivity and impartiality. During their assessments of practices and procedures,Fairness Commissioner Hon. Jean Augustine says “We have found more commendable practices than inadequate ones.”
2006 Stats Can data showed that 52% of immigrants “from a field of study that typically leads to a regulated occupation” had engineering degrees. Among nonimmigrants, engineering was the second after teaching, at 17%. So the competition for engineering jobs is fierce among internationally-trained engineers. Foreign educated immigrants living in Ontario have a 24% chance of finding a career match in their field of study. While these are better than the match rates in Quebec and BC, the match rates for immigrants across the country was less than one-half the match rates of the Canadian-born engineers.
Despite these discouraging numbers, it is a fact that the regulators for Engineers and Engineering Technologists and Technicians across Canada have been working hard and making progress toward the goal of increasing accessibility for Internationally-Trained Professionals.
The engineering associations and regulatory bodies including PEO, Engineers Canada, OSPE and OACETT, all recognize the need to improve access to suitable employment for Internationally-Trained Engineers.
CAPE – The Council for Access to the Profession of Engineering – an advocacy, employment and support group for Internationally-Trained Engineers – works tirelessly to improve the prospects for foreign-trained engineers. In its mission statement, CAPE states that it will not promote the under-employment or underutilization of the skills of its members. CAPE also states that it focuses on employment rather than licensing of its members.
The Canadian and international regulatory bodies have all done their best to make the process of transferring your skills fairer, faster and easier. As an individual, it’s good to know that regulatory changes are being made on your behalf – that somebody is working to make the process easier. But that in itself is unlikely to get you the job you are looking for. What else can you do?

Assessing and Making the Most of Your Skills

When the system doesn’t work in your favour, you must learn to adapt.
Perhaps you set your short-term expectations too high. You may feel that your education and experience speaks for itself. But the more you think about it, the more you will likely appreciate that you need to understand the intricacies of your profession in a Canadian context, including weights and measures, materials, minimum quality and safety standards and regulations. Consider how guidelines that work well in one climate may not be suitable in a completely different climate. Building materials, mechanical parts, viscosities, acceptable stresses and tolerances – you name it – they are simply not the same from country to country. Neither are educational standards. The more international experience you have, the more likely it is that you have dealt with and learned to understand these issues in the past.
It is vitally important for you to figure out where you stand as quickly and realistically as possible. If you can start applying for licensure to PEO or OACETT before you even arrive in Canada, do it! It is one thing to discover you’re not qualified to work as a professional engineer in Canada a month or two after you arrive, and another thing altogether to make the same discovery after you’ve been here for 18 months and your savings are running out. The sooner you can determine how far you are from your goals, the more easily you can make plans that work within your budget and your timeframe.
Your actual education may become less important in the short term than having a positive attitude and an open mind, if your education and skills won’t immediately get you where you want to be. Rather than thinking about what you can’t do, you have to think about what you can do. So if you can’t get license to work as a professional engineer, it makes sense for you to identify how to use the skills you do have to get the best job available to you. Sometimes it makes sense to take a job that is below your skill level in order to get the income and Canadian experience you need to reach your long term goals.
Find out as much as you can about bridging programs to help you get a job in your field. There may be related courses that you can take from a community or career college that will take advantage of your skills and give you a launching point. If you hold out too long for the perfect job, you could find yourself empty handed – having to take a survival job just to get from one day to the next. That can be a very hard cycle to get out of. So instead of the perfect job, look for “a good job” that pays a decent wage, that has room for advancement and will give you an opportunity to improve yourself, that will give you the time and money to take other programs or courses. It may take a hundred baby steps to get where you wanted to be, but if you’re determined and have a positive outlook you can get where you want to go.

Bridging Programs,

Read the Partner Profiles in this issue to learn about the bridging programs for Internationally-Trained Engineers available at ACCES Employment, Humber College, OSPE, Ryerson University and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority – plus related opportunities at George Brown College and Laurentian University (Professions North/Nord).

Who are the largest employers of engineers in Ontario?

As far as individual employers go, the list of Ontario’s largest employers of engineers would have to include Bombardier Aerospace and TELUS, both of whom have tens of thousands of employees in Canada. Hatch Limited expanded their staff by 3000 people over the last two years. Ledcor Group of Companies hired over 1200 people last year.
Many Canadian employers have Engineer-in-Training programs, including agricultural products supplier, Agrium; uranium mining company, Cameco; Golder Associates Ltd; and Bombardier Aerospace.
TELUS is one of Canada’s largest employers, with over 20,000 full time employers and an impressive percentage of staff and management who are visible minorities. Other big Ontario employers who hire a large number of engineers include construction giant Ellis-Don, Enbridge, Hydro One, Toronto Hydro and Ontario Power Generation.
There are some real advantages in looking for engineering careers at the major international engineering firms. Being global, most of these companies need staff who can communicate in other languages and adapt to the cultures of the countries where they set up operations. Examples of companies like these are SNC-Lavalin, Intergraph, CDI Corporation, Holcim and CH2M Hill. Hatch Ltd. – an employee-owned consulting engineering firm, providing services to the mining, metallurgical, energy, manufacturing and infrastructure industries – had over 600 jobs listed on Eluta.ca last year – which would certainly make them a major Canadian employer of engineers.
The editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers in partnership with ALLIES, a joint initiative of The Maytree Foundation and The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, had a Best Employers for New Canadians competition And the winners included a number of firms that employ significant numbers of engineers, including CH2M Hill, Bombardier, TELUS, City of Mississauga and Xerox.
Historically, Internationally-Trained Engineers in Canada have not had an easy path, and while the prospects won’t improve miraculously anytime soon, steady progress is being made as governments, industry associations, settlement sector agencies and employers work together to bring about systemic change. As an engineer looking for work in this system, the best you can do is follow and take advantage of developments, keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities, and move forward with a positive attitude, an open mind and a solid work ethic.
So that when your opportunity comes, you’ll be able to recognize it and give it everything you’ve got. Every engineer who succeeds in Canada makes it easier for others following in his or her footsteps. Because every time a company has a good result from hiring an Internationally-Trained Engineer, it’s more likely that they will hire the next ITE who walks in the door. Let’s hope one of them is you.

Related articles

Enhanced by Zemanta

Program connects Halifax immigrants with opportunities


What do you do if you move to a new place where you don’t have a job, family or friends? You try to plug into an existing network.
Creating that network for new­comers has been the goal of the Connector Program of the Greater Halifax Partnership economic development organiza­tion, says Fred Morley, executive vice-president and chief economist with the organization.
The International Economic Development Council this month recognized the program with two gold awards of excellence. The program has been emulated in 10 other Canadian cities, Morley notes, ranging in size from Montreal to Truro, and is being implemented in Calgary and by the province of New Brunswick.
One of the keys to the pro­gram’s success is its simplicity.
Morley explains: “We have recruited about 400 business volunteers . . . and we simply ask them to sit with an immigrant, a young professional or a recent grad and have a low-key conver­sation about opportunities in Halifax.”
Significantly, this conversation is not a job interview.
“It’s just about reaching out. Each volunteer connector is asked to provide three contacts for the person to follow up with. Each of the three new connectors repeats the process, and in this way the person quickly builds their business and personal net­work, acquires and refines inter­view skills, and often ends up in a quality job.”
Program participant Doris Du says the program helped her define what would come next for her.
“It provided me with a big picture of my future career path.” She says she got to know more people and also gained confid­ence, “in both work and personal
life.” Lurace Lee, another participant, says finding employ­ment is challenging without local connections, even if there’s no significant language barrier.
“It helped me with confidence, and networking in particular, and getting established here in Nova Scotia. Usually, people feel more secure if they are employed and have stable income.”
The program helps answer real questions employers might have, she says.
“I can see employers, espe­cially small (to) mid-size, may feel unsure if new immigrants know enough about Canada to be able to work well. The Connector Program is a good example of connecting us with potential employers.”
And new employees are needed to make the economy grow. As Morley says, citing figures from the Canadian Occupation Projection Survey, the number of young Nova Scotians is dropping; the province’s 14-and-under population has declined by about 27,000 over the past decade.
Yet the coming five years are expected to open up around 75,000 jobs, either in new positions or as replacements for retiring workers.
According to the Greater Halifax Partnership’s Krista Hall, more than 130 people have found jobs through the program since its launch in 2009.
“This year, there are 170 immigrants, international students and young and emerging professionals participating in the program. So far this year, 21 participants have found jobs.”
Like Morley, she emphasizes that our lives encompass much more than our work.
“Finding employment is a measure of success, but it’s not the only one,” she says.
“The knowledge participants gain about the local job market also equips them with the information they need to upgrade or retrain for the career they’d like to pursue in Halifax. Gaining professional and community contacts is also a benefit for someone trying to settle in a new community.
“The program really is about connecting people to opportunities in Halifax, whether they be education, employment or community related.”
Thriving in Tough Times is a series developed by the business development centre at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

U.S. or Canada: Which country is best to call home?

This question is part of the age-old debate between two nations. The societies of both Canada and the United States hold the view that their own country is the better place to live. Generally, neither country learns all the facts about what the other country has to offer. So, which is better: Canada or the United States?

BenefitsBecoming a mother is one of the greatest gifts in the world. Spending time with your child as he or she grows up is a need of every mother. How does your country support new moms?

Canada has paid leave, and many employers offer benefits to new mothers, or parents, ranging from 17 weeks up to as much as 52 weeks. During this time, one of the spouses can claim Employment Insurance (EI) for approximately 15 weeks. Generally, EI payments are 55% of weekly earnings but have a maximum payment of $485 per week. Parents can also split the allocated time if they choose.

U.S.While their northerly neighbors have a solid set of maternity and parental benefits, the United States currently does not mandate any sort of maternity leave. However, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for extreme sickness and birth of a child. While this 12 weeks of unpaid leave is not specifically categorized as maternity leave, it can be used under the FMLA as such. Small companies of under 50 employees are exempt from the FMLA. Some states such as California and New Jersey include paid maternity benefits into their disability insurance, but this choice is solely at the discretion of each state.
ServicesSome of the more well-known services available to Canadians and Americans are healthcare and university funding. The United States is ranked No. 1 for most expensive healthcare per capita at $8,233. Conversely, Canada ranks No. 6 worldwide and is over $3,700 cheaper than the United States at $4,445 per capita, according to a 2012 OECD Health Data study using 2010 statistics. Americans pay over 17% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) towards healthcare while Canadians sit at about 11%.
University can be another extremely large cost in a person’s life. It puts many students tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Individual states have the choice on whether or not they want to grant funding to large state-run universities. Despite these grants, schooling is still very expensive for the average American. A bachelor’s degree in the U.S. can run from about $37,600 for an average public college to over $160,000 at prestigious schools such as Harvard. In Canada, the average cost of an undergraduate degree starts at $8,000 (Quebec) and increases to about $26,000. The most expensive undergraduate programs in Canada will cost around $50,000, which is approximately one-third the cost of a degree from Harvard University.
Average SalariesAccording to the website numbeo.com, the average income of an American and a Canadian are approximately the same amount. Canada’s after-tax monthly income is about $3,000 which totals around $36,000 per year. The U.S. sits just below Canada at approximately $2,942 per month, or roughly $35,300 per year.
The real difference is seen in the cost of living. While Americans and Canadians roughly make the same amount per annum, there are large gaps in specific spending areas of both countries.
The monthly rent for a one-bedroom condominium in the downtown area of your average city in Canada is near $907, but only about $878 in the United States. This difference of roughly $29 per month adds up to nearly $350 in the course of a year. If you multiply that over a five-year span, you are looking at over $1,700 in additional expenses for housing alone.
Food is much more costly in Canada. One kilogram of chicken breasts costs around $6.50 in the United States, while it averages almost $11 in Canada. A mid-range, three-course meal for two in Canada ends up costing $60. In the U.S. you are only paying about $44. Finally, clothing is more expensive in Canada than in the United States. A $40 pair of Levi’s jeans in the States will run you about $55 in Canada.
If all the little things are added that cost more in Canada, the total is far more than the $750 salary difference that was originally stated. By this measure, the U.S. is cheaper to live in.
The Bottom LineCanadians receive better social benefits such as healthcare, paid maternity leave and greater subsidization of their post-secondary schools. Both countries generally have around the same annual income. However, the cost of living in the United States is remarkably less. While Canadians may pay less for larger-life events, Americans pay less for day-to-day expenses such as eating and housing costs. Maybe it all evens out in the end, or perhaps one place really is better to live than the other. If you live a healthy and active lifestyle and don’t plan on having children, the U.S. is potentially the place for you. If you plan on having many children and need the help putting them all through school, Canada may be the more suitable choice for your family. Whichever the case, the choice should be made on the basis of what you value most. Take into consideration your current and future lifestyle.
%d bloggers like this: