100 job applications later, this newcomer still can’t restart his engineering career in Canada

posted on January 25, 2024

CBC News | The Current | Mouhamad Rachini | Nov 10, 2023

Proposed B.C. legislation aims to remove employment barriers faced by foreign-trained migrants.

Rex Gonzales worked as an industrial engineer and project manager for 16 years in the Philippines. But he’s struggled to find work in his field since moving to Canada — despite applying for almost 100 jobs.

“Unfortunately, until now, after two or three months of applying for a job, I haven’t received any call for an interview,” he told The Current’s guest host Duncan McCue.

Gonzales moved to Vancouver in July 2022 with his wife and young daughter. Hoping to improve his ch in the Canadian job market, he worked as a deli clerk while completing a master’s degree in business administration. He also got a certification in project management.

He’s currently working as a shift supervisor in a fruit and vegetable retailer, which he described as a “survival job.”

“The struggle is taking its toll financially, given the [housing] situation here in Vancouver and, of course, rising cost of living,” he said.

Last month, B.C.’s provincial government introduced legislation aimed at helping immigrants with foreign credentials resume their careers in 29 professions, including engineers, lawyers, teachers and social workers.

Bill 38, the International Credentials Recognition Act, would remove barriers such as redundant language testing, as well as requirements that workers gain professional experience in Canada. Many migrants struggle to secure that Canadian work experience in their field, precisely because they are not yet licensed to work.

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