The organization that governs Ontario’s professional engineers has become the first group to remove Canadian experience requirements for internationally-trained workers.

The provincial government announced on Tuesday that Professional Engineers Ontario no longer requires individuals to have Canadian work experience to apply for a job in the engineering field.

The government said the change will help thousands of qualified professionals pursue their dreams while maintaining Ontario’s licensing and exam requirements.

Professional Engineers Ontario President Roydon Fraser said up to 60 per cent of engineering licence applications they receive each year are from internationally trained engineers.

“By no longer requiring proof of Canadian experience when applying for an engineering licence, PEO will effectively ensure that qualified, international applicants can be licensed more quickly, so they can actively contribute to the economy as engineers. PEO will continue to ensure all professional engineers meet rigorous qualifications for licensing and that only properly qualified individuals practice engineering through a competency-based assessment model and other methods for evaluation.”

As part of the Working for Workers Act, the Ontario government introduced legislation in 2021 that banned regulated professions from requiring Canadian work experience in more than 30 occupations.

Beginning in December, all requirements for Canadian experience will be automatically voided unless an exemption is granted by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development for public health and safety.