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In the article “Internationally Trained Professionals – Should They Abandon Their Profession?” Lee Koren makes some great points, and we’re going to reply to them below!

Employment Consultant Lee Koren recently blogged about her experience helping internationally qualified professionals (IQPs) overcome the challenges faced when attempting to re-launch their careers in Canada.

Koren explains that while the government has made social programming available to support the settlement of new immigrants, employers’ behaviour, in terms of recognizing international (versus Canadian) work experience, remains a challenge – despite the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s policy on removing the “Canadian experience” barrier.

Too often, this barrier results in skilled immigrants taking “survival jobs” that are well below their level of education and experience acquired abroad. This is not only a huge setback for IQPs, but also for Canada’s economy.

In her blog, Koren lists five steps that IQPs can follow to invest in their career and to improve their chances of finding meaningful, career-related work in Canada. Koren’s first and second steps encourage IQPs to ensure their English language skills are assessed to a Canadian Language Benchmark of level 7 or 8, and that their credentials are evaluated for Canadian equivalency. Her third step encourages newcomers to research bridging programs that help them transition into the workforce – something that we were very pleased to hear!

Since 2003, Career Edge has helped bridge newcomers’ employment gap with our paid internship program for IQPs. Part of our eligibility criteria for our program includes Koren’s first two steps, since these are the things employers typically look for when considering internationally qualified candidates.

For employers, credential equivalency and verified business communications skills provide peace of mind when assessing IQP candidates for job opportunities, as they reduce the perception of risk associated with hiring someone who is new to the Canadian work environment. Knowing that a candidate’s education and language skills match the requirements of a job, employers can focus on the competences and experience IQPs can bring to the role.

Having their language skills assessed and credentials evaluated are important steps for IQPs to take, as doing so helps to make them more marketable and able to compete with other job seekers on a level playing field.

At Career Edge, it’s our goal to help IQPs – as well as recent graduates, including those with disabilities – overcome employment barriers through paid internships. We believe that as IQPs continue to take the right steps to invest further in their careers, employers will simultaneously invest in high-potential, internationally qualified professionals to launch more careers in Canada.

Are you an internationally qualified professional seeking employment in Canada? Visit our website to see if Career Edge is right for you.

Are you an employer looking for talented interns who can help you meet your evolving business needs? Learn more about our paid internship programs by clicking here.