Thousands of trained and educated professionals immigrate to Canada every year with the intention of building a better life, advancing their careers, and contributing to the Canadian economy.
However, significant barriers restrict internationally trained professionals from continuing their careers in Canada. Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) is taking action to promote access to Canadian work experience through the Professional Access and Integration Enhancement (PAIE) Program for Internationally Trained Environmental Professionals, a program that is funded by federal and provincial levels of government through Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
Recently, TRCA hosted an event to celebrate the successful completion of the program by 45 internationally trained environmental engineers from India, China, Egypt, Colombia, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Iran, Philippines and Venezuela.
The event also celebrated the dedication and support of funders, partners and employers who helped make the program a success. Many participants have been gainfully employed in their professional field and obtained their professional licenses through Professional Engineers Ontario and the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario.
“The inclusion of sustainable communities and social equity within The Living City vision is a testament to our role as a leader and innovator within the environmental field,” said Brian Denney, CAO, Toronto and Region Conservation. “PAIE candidates bring technical expertise, global perspective and cultural insight; assets that are pertinent to the success of organizations operating within the GTA. These participants have worked very hard to complete the program and their dedication, along with the support from our funders, partners, and participating employers will help make the GTA a greener, healthier place to live.”
Now in its fourth year, PAIE is well established and recognized as a successful and effective mechanism to connect employers with highly skilled talent, offsetting the labour shortage and filling employment gaps that have been identified in the environmental sector, while providing much-needed Canadian experience to deserving candidates.
The PAIE Program provided participants with 150 hours of Enhanced Language Training, over 80 hours of Technical Training Workshops and a series of hands-on field excursions led by TRCA and industry experts. In addition, the program offered highly-skilled 12-month paid engineering work placements with host employers in the public and private sectors.
The PAIE Program worked in conjunction with Acces Employment Services, Professional Engineers Ontario, Workplace Communication & Diversity Inc., A2Z Technical Services Ltd., Council for Access to the Profession of Engineering, Skills for Change and MCB Solutions.