Careers: New Vistas For Internationally Trained Agrologists

by Ranjeet Chugh

Do you have a bachelor's degree in agriculture or related sciences?

People with degrees in agriculture from other countries will now have help getting over the barriers to practice in Ontario. The first professional registration program for internationally educated agrologists was launched in Guelph, Ontario on September 11th 2006.

During the launch, a recently graduated professional agrologist from Peshawar, Pakistan said, "I have a degree in agriculture from Pakistan. Now I have completed my P.Ag. and that has enabled me to understand the agricultural industry in Ontario and its current trends. I am very happy that I have found a parttime job in my field and the future is looking bright."

Three hundred agrologists from abroad will be registered as professional agrologists (P.Ag.) over the next three years. The international agrologists program is one of the 24 bridge training programs funded by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration to help more than 3,000 skilled newcomers put their global experience to work in Ontario. With the help of a $1.25 million grant from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, internationally trained professionals will get industry-specific language training, an articling period and mentoring.

Muhammad Arif believes that the program will offer him skills and training he needs to be a practicing agrologist in Ontario. Before coming to Canada, Arif, who holds a PhD in crop sciences, gained extensive experience breeding canola, wheat and sugar cane varieties in Pakistan and Japan.

Forty-five internationally trained agrologists have already enrolled in the program. Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Leona Dombrowsky, speaking on behalf of the government said that the strong early response certainly indicates the need for such a program. "Our goal is to build a stronger agricultural sector and a highly skilled labour force. Internationally educated graduates will help us meet that goal."

There is an application process involved for internationally trained agrologists, which includes international degree credentialing and language assessment. Candidates with a bachelor's degree in agriculture or related sciences must have their education qualifications assessed. World Education Services (WES) as a part of this process can guide you in doing so. Please visit www.wes.org for more information. Internationally educated candidates must also demonstrate fluency in English or French.

"This is a very good opportunity for newcomers who have expertise in production, agriculture and beyond, such as bio technology, animal health, life sciences and bio-processing just to name a few," said Carol Tyler, P.Ag, OIA Registrar.

For more information regarding this program, you can call OIA on 519-826-4226.

CNM