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ASET gives refugees faster access to tech fields

By Carlie Sanderson

Refugees who are engineering technology professionals will have an easier time obtaining their professional designation and finding work in their field without having to go back to school. All thanks to the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET).

The first step in making life easier for these refugees happened a few years ago when ASET launched the competency-based assessment, which was a way for them to take stock of experience and qualifications. some people. This would then allow internationally educated professionals and other engineering technology professionals to establish their careers more quickly.

“We thought it was helpful in many ways. It has helped a lot of Canadians,” said ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh.

ASET then recently decided to waive all application fees, which amount to approximately $1,000, for refugees wishing to become members and obtain their designation.

Cavanaugh said they were starting to realize they had a good number of refugees in their candidate base from overseas-trained groups and that big changes would soon start to happen with the Ukraine crisis. He said they realized that people would come to ASET in a hurry to find work in their field.

“Given the urgency of their situation, not just Ukrainians, but refugees in general, we should waive the application fee and the examination fee so as not to put another obstacle in their way,” he said. he declared.

“If you come from an emergency situation like most refugees, we just want to remove barriers where we can.”

After Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, single mother Mila Wagner traveled to Alberta two years later with her son, leaving her home and job in Ukraine. When she arrived, it was a challenge for her to find a job.

“When I first started applying for a job in my field, as I had engineering experience and a degree from home, no one called me for an interview because my education and credentials didn’t match. weren’t fully accepted here in Canada,” she said.

During this period, she knew nothing about ASET or the skills assessment program. To get a job, she had to enroll in post-secondary studies and obtain a professional diploma. She attended Lethbridge College for two years and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering Technology.

Once she heard about ASET at school, she immediately became a member, which was free for her as a student.

Although she was unaware of what ASET did, she is glad that other people coming to Canada are getting the help they need to get back to work quickly thanks to the recent fee waiver.

“It’s a huge support and help for people who want to start their new life in another country.”

In the past, most standards were based on Canadian education when it came to incoming refugees.

People would struggle to translate what the equivalent would be in another country, but Cavanaugh thinks it’s much better now because of the way they assess applicants.

Within the field of engineering technologists, there are 21 different disciplines, many of which are in civil engineering technology like road building, construction, bridges, etc.

“They are involved in all aspects of our daily life. They’re not just all around us, they really contribute significantly to the province’s economy,” Cavanaugh said.

Typically, a candidate’s education consists of a two-year program focused on engineering technology.

ASET has approximately 18,000 members, 21 of whom call Stettler their home.

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