Bridging programs help ITEs succeed in Ontario

Thanks to funding from the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) has offered two Bridge Training Programs since 2009 to help speed the integration of internationally trained engineers (ITEs) into Ontario’s labour market.

Developed by OSPE and offered in partnership with WoodGreen Community Services – Immigrant Services, OSPE’s Bridging Internationally Trained Engineers to Job Readiness in the Green Economy program is currently offered in Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo.

This unique program prepares ITEs for engineering careers within Canada’s green economy, a sector that has been driving jobs and economic growth in recent years. Since the inception of the program in 2010, over 230 ITEs have gained vital insights into the engineering profession in Ontario and, specifically, opportunities within the province’s green economy.

"I have been recommending this program to new immigrants,” says R. Ibazebo, a program graduate who is now employed as a project coordinator with an energy conglomerate that has worldwide operations in utilities, power generation and related services. “Knowledge and soft skills learned in the program helped in no small measure in achieving [my career] objectives. The mock interview session with WoodGreen was very helpful.”

With 42 hours of classroom training, the program provides an in-depth understanding of the historical, legal, social, political and cultural background of the growing green economy sector. Participants also learn about the culture of the Ontario technical workplace—vital information that can help graduates succeed. Then participants work with an employment consultant, who provides job development and counselling support customized to the individual's needs.

Since 2009, OSPE’s Examination Skills Preparation for Internationally Trained Engineers program has supported ITEs wishing to write the Professional Practice Examination (PPE), administered by PEO, which is an essential component of the P.Eng licensure process. Of the more than 100 participants who have completed the program and written the exam, 90 per cent have successfully passed the PPE.

“It was an important milestone on my path for success,” says M. Khalef, a program graduate who passed the PPE in April 2011 and has recently applied for a full licence with PEO.

Facilitated by lawyers, engineers and ESL instructors from the field, the Examination Skills Preparation program is tailored to the specific needs of ITEs who often lack the confidence and experience to succeed at writing essay-based examinations. The 30 hours of classroom instruction provides a solid foundation in Canadian law and ethics, while also addressing gaps related to exam-writing in the Canadian context.

“This OSPE Bridge Training Program helped me to prepare for the PPE exam on both engineering law and ethics. I was able to write and handle the PPE exam without problem after taking this course,” says 2011 participant D. Xu.

For many, the road to employment and licensure is marked by one milestone at a time. OSPE’s programs aim to bring each ITE one step closer to meeting the ultimate goal – to translate engineering knowledge and skills into a rewarding career in Canada. For more information about how these proven programs might assist you, please visit our website at www.ospe.on.ca or contact us:

Bridging Internationally Trained Engineers to Job Readiness in the Green Economy:

Helen Tam, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 416-223-9961, ext. 232.

Examination Skills Preparation for Internationally Trained Engineers:

Aarthi Vig, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 416-223-9961 ext. 238.