As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, an Alberta organization is making it easier for engineering technology professionals from war-torn countries to earn their professional designations.
As of May 24, the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta is waiving all application fees for refugees seeking to become members and attain their designations, such as certified engineering technologists.
These fees include the application fee, prior learning assessment and recognition fee, professional practice exam fee and certification exam fee. This can cost up to almost $1,000 per member over time.
“With our application fee waiver for refugees now in place and our competency-based assessment program already established and proven to help newcomers, ASET is making it easier than ever for refugees with tech backgrounds to get on the career paths for which they were educated in their home countries,” said ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh.
“Alberta and Canada as a whole need more people with the technical knowledge and experience to contribute to our province and nation and we value what these newcomers bring.”
There are more than 300 ASET members in Red Deer.
In 2016, ASET launched the competency-based assessment program, which was designed to offer foreign-trained and other engineering technology professionals a faster route to establishing careers.
The program, a first of its kind in Canada, enables them to gain purchase in their career fields without having to return to school full-time. ASET eliminated the Canadian work experience requirement, making it one of the few regulatory bodies in Alberta to do this.
After Russia invaded Crimea, Ukraine, in 2014, single mother Mila Wagner made the decision to leave her home with her three-year-old son Nikita.
When she arrived in Alberta in 2016, she discovered that her multiple engineering technology-related degrees from Ukraine did not translate in the Canadian employment market and no one would hire her. She had to take on menial work until she was able to earn a civil engineering technology diploma at Lethbridge College.
Had she known about the competency-based assessment program, she could have been fast-tracked into earning an ASET designation and ultimately working in a career-related job in a fraction of the time required to complete an additional engineering technology diploma in Canada.
“If I could have been accredited through ASET from my previous schooling in Ukraine, I could have been positioned in a job in my field sooner,” said Wagner, now an ASET member.
“I think the competency-based assessment program combined with application fee waiver will be a game-changer for refugees from Ukraine and other countries.”
For more information, visit www.aset.ab.ca.