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Ontario proposes changes to help internationally trained immigrants practise their profession or trade


October 21, 2021
By Ground Water Canada

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Toronto – The Ontario government intends to propose legislation that would, if passed, help make it easier for internationally trained immigrants to start careers in their profession.

The proposal announced Oct. 21 would, if passed, help remove many significant barriers internationally trained immigrants face, such as the requirement for Canadian work experience, when attempting to get licensed in certain regulated professions and trades such as law, accounting, architecture, engineering, electrical and plumbing, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development said in a news release.

To help address the labour shortage and help internationally trained immigrants in Ontario build better lives for their themselves and their families, the Ontario government intends to propose changes this fall which would, if passed:

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  • Eliminate Canadian work experience requirements for professional registration and licensing unless an exemption is granted based on a demonstrated public health and safety risk. These requirements may create situations where workers are unable to obtain Canadian work experience because they don’t have it. This is often cited as the number one barrier Canadian immigrants face in obtaining a job that matches their level of qualification.
  • Reduce burdensome duplication for official language proficiency testing, so people would not have to complete multiple tests for purposes of immigration and professional licensing.
  • Allow applicants to register faster in their regulated professions when there are emergencies (such as a pandemic) that create an urgent need for certain professions or trades.
  • Ensure the licensing process is completed in a timely manner to help internationally trained immigrants start working in careers that match their skill set.

“These proposed changes would help to improve registration practices, address unfair Canadian experience requirements and remove related barriers for internationally trained professionals and tradespersons,” said Irwin Glasberg, the Fairness Commissioner of Ontario.

If passed, these proposed changes would build on work the province is already doing to help highly skilled internationally trained immigrants to find work in their field of expertise. The Ontario government said it is spending $67 million over three years through the Ontario Bridge Training Program on programs and services that connect internationally trained immigrants with in-demand jobs in their communities.