Comment 42415

By Kiely (registered) | Posted June 24, 2010 at 10:10:34

To make things easier for immigrants, one has to address the standards issue. - Bob Innes

One of the main obstacles is actually financial and bureaucratic. It takes paper work and money to get credentials recognized. Extra cash and the desire to deal with cumbersome foreign bureaucracy are two things many immigrants do not have. I don't want to see us lower our standards to accommodate, we have them for a reason. We need to make it easier to be able to prove foreign credentials.

Given your comment elsewhere about engineers' lack of practicality, would you want more engineers coming from cultures with more of a class system that can develop a real bias against practical (hands on) experience much more than is ingrained here? - Bob Innes

I've worked with engineers from many regions: America, Japan, Europe, Australia, China, Singapore, Indonesia, etc... The main differences I see depend on age, more than region/ethnicity. Old(er) engineers anywhere are typically arrogant (some to the point of being outdated and out of touch). Young engineers in Canada aren't as arrogant but many just seem to want to sit in front of computers and "design stuff". The young engineers I've worked with from Asia have been the best at getting practical experience. Also because many of these countries seem to be able to produce engineers but not mechanics, the young engineers are often used to fill "lead hand" positions usually filled by journeyman tradesmen in this part of the world, and that is good experience for them. I would rather work with the sharp young engineers coming out of Asia (e.g., Singapore, Indonesia, China, even young Japanese engineers) any day of the week. The type of engineering arrogance I see from some "Western" and old(er) Japanese Engineers doesn't exist in them. They're out in the field, learning and listening to what the hands-on people (i.e., mechanics/technicians) have to say.

I realise there is a lot of generalization in the above statements (not all western engineers are arrogant, not all young Asian engineers are great) and I can't back it up with facts or anything, that has just been my personal experience. I guess what I'm saying is I wouldn't worry about it too much. The one's I've worked with that I'd be worried about, would never get their credentials recognized. The youth in developing countries however are remarkably switched-on. Frankly, we should be worried... but that's a whole other topic.

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