Internationally trained engineers, social workers and paramedics to be fast-tracked in B.C.

Vancouver Sun | Katie DeRosa | Oct 23, 2023

Alice Wong, who completed her master’s degree in social work in Hong Kong, has spent the last 14 months navigating an arduous accreditation process that included hundreds of pages of paperwork, exams, English tests and bureaucratic hoops.

“It was very challenging for me,” said the 40-year-old. “The feeling is, I was fighting in a battle alone without a lot of support or resources. So it kept me very frustrated in the process.”

Wong, who will start her new job in B.C. as a hospital social worker on Tuesday, applauded the B.C. NDP government’s announcement that it intends to fast-track the cumbersome accreditation process for internationally educated workers — including engineers, social workers, early childhood educators, paramedics, teachers and biologists — in an effort to address a province-wide labour shortage.

A total of 29 professions are covered in the International Credentials Recognition Act introduced in the legislature Monday by Minister of State for Workforce Development Andrew Mercier.