Mila Wagner left Ukraine and came to Canada in 2016 after Russia invaded Crimea.
She brought with her several engineering degrees obtained in her country of origin.
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But finding a job in her professional field was a challenge, so Wagner took jobs as a housekeeper.
“I couldn’t find any, which was related to my degree and my experience back home,” Wagner said.
“I realized that my degrees and my education were not fully accepted here in Canada.
It took four years for Wagner’s credentials to be accepted in Canada, during which time she completed a two-year program leading to a degree in civil engineering technologist.
“It was quite difficult and really difficult, especially with my three-year-old son holding my hand,” she said. “I had to pay rent, provide food and child care.”
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The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) tries to facilitate the process for other internationally educated engineering technologists coming to the province.
The group waives most of its fees for engineering technology professionals who are refugees from war-torn countries.
ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh said he hopes the new initiative, coupled with a skills-based assessment program for foreign workers, which began in 2016, will speed up the arrival of engineering technologists. in their career.
“This province and this country needs more engineering technologists — there’s no question about it,” Cavanaugh said. “There is virtually full employment for our engineering technologists.
Wagner believes the new measures will help other engineering technologists get certified faster.
“I could have gotten ASET certified and put in the job sooner and started making money sooner,” Wagner said.
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