New Brunswick

Immigrant workers receive help getting qualified for jobs

A conference in New Brunswick points immigrants to the right path to get their qualifications approved and recognized in Canada for their chosen field.

Companies are helping newcomers get the right education and qualifications to start working in their fields

Esthela Pyett, who first came to Canada in 1999, said she didn't anticipate the trouble she would have in getting the necessary qualifications to work. (linkedin)

A Fredericton woman originally from the Philippines knows what it's like for new immigrants to get professional credentials recognized in the province.

It's from personal experience. Esthela Pyett came to Canada in 1999, and didn't think it would mean an end to her engineering career.

But that's what happened.  

She sent her qualifications and educational information to an educational assessment service in Alberta, to see where she stood professionally in Canada.

"When the result came I was a little bit heart-broken because it wasn't what I expected," said Pyett, the president of the Filipino Association of New Brunswick.

"I learned that I had to go back to school to get the same educational equivalent here."

At the time, money was tight and she had other priorities. She pursued another career and is now an analyst with the Department of Public Safety in New Brunswick.

"I personally experienced how difficult it is to come to a country where your language is not quite there and you have to train and get the customs and work with people that your culture is so different from," she said.

"I came to realize that I'm not the only one having this experience."

This week, she was at a conference called, "Working Forward: 2015 NB Forum on Foreign Qualification Recognition in Fredericton," in the hopes of helping bridge the gap for other newcomers.

With 250,000 educated newcomers coming to this country every year that is a huge market that we aren't tapping into.- Rob Henderson , CEO, Bio Talent Canada

Several organizations were represented at the two-day forum, including governmental and private associations.

Rob Henderson runs Bio Talent Canada, which helps immigrants get jobs in their fields. (CBC)
Rob Henderson, the president and chief executive officer of Bio Talent Canada, said his organizations works to help immigrants with a background in the biomedical field get qualified to work in Canada.

Then, he said, Bio Talent Canada helps them get jobs in the field, especially in areas where a skills gap has been identified.

"The second largest challenge for small to medium-sized enterprises is lack of available talent," he said.

"With 250,000 educated newcomers coming to this country every year that is a huge market that we aren't tapping into."

He expects to put 250 people through the program by March.

Edward Leslie is the executive director of the New Brunswick Society of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists, which helps an average of 12 immigrants get certified as technologists and technicians every year.

"All the technicians and technologists we can supply are being absorbed [into the workforce]," he said.

 Pyett said she believes having all this available help to get credentials for newcomers will pay off for everyone.

"There are so many Filipinos here, Canadians already, temporary foreign workers, permanent residents that have the same hopes and ambitions that I had, to get better work, to get better opportunities, to afford their children a good future, and to help the economy of New Brunswick," she said.

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