Mohammed Chand Pasha is an Electrical/Electronic technician from India who has been in Canada for six years. He has over ten years’ experience in Industrial Automation, Food Processing, Packaging, Research and development and Avionics through positions in India and Saudi Arabia. Mohammed has an Engineering diploma in Electrical/ Electronics from a Polytechnic Institute in India. After three years of attending night school two evenings a week Mohammed completed a Robotics/Industrial Automation Specialist program at Centennial College in 2002.
Mohammed is an executive member of the Toronto East Chapter of the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT). As College Liaison for the association, he works with Centennial College to promote membership in OACETT. Mohammed found about this association from a pamphlet at the airport and from the internet.
Future plans include learning more from Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) about which additional courses are required for licensing. Mohammed already knows that some of his experience as a technician will count towards a PEO designation.
Current employment situation
Mohammed has spent the last five years working as a technician in a food processing and packaging plant in Ontario, troubleshooting and repairing equipment. “I am very lucky because I was working with an international company before and I was familiar with the equipment that comes from the U.S. It has the same specifications as the equipment used here.”
Finding work in Canada
It took three months for Mohammed to find work in Canada and his first job was one in his field. “I prepared my resume with help from friends and Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC). I sent out many resumes and received three offers in three months. I found my present job through an ad in the newspaper.” Mohammed was encouraged by the number of positions available, the number of ads and the number of calls. He did not feel he faced any obstacles in finding employment.
Working in Canada
“Again, I have been very lucky because I am familiar with the equipment and my job here is not very much different from my jobs in India and Saudi Arabia.. I didn’t have trouble fitting in to the Canadian workplace because in Saudi Arabia I worked with an international workforce – people from the U.S., Canada, Germany , Philippines and England. I gained a lot of experience working with them for ten years in a food processing company.”
Advice to job seekers
“I think that even if you were a supervisor before you should start at a lower level here. You can’t be supervisor right away. Here a supervisor needs hands-on experience, as opposed to India where the supervisor can sit in the office. There are few supervisor positions, maybe one or two, but there are many technicians. I was a supervisor before and understand that there are differences in the culture and knowledge of the system.”
When asked about certification Mohammed replied, “it is better to have the certification first as it will be difficult to find work without it. Courses can be taken part-time at community college and may even be paid for by the employer.” OACETT decides which courses are necessary for full certification.
“It is important to be a member of a community. Belonging to OACETT is a networking opportunity, a chance to get guidance from members, references and information from people from other countries. I have been a mentor and have helped 10 to 12 people find a job in their field.” Mohammed has generously offered to provide information to our readers. He suggests learning more from www.oacett.org and has provided his pager number for people who would like to ask him questions about his field and OACETT. The number is 416.680.0032.
“Companies have a hard time hiring for Electrical/Electronics technicians, mechanical technicians, millwrights and electricians. There are still many vacancies.”