December 4, 2019


CWB Group and IEC-BC have signed an MOU to facilitate recognition of competencies for internationally trained welding professionals and to enhance labour mobility across jurisdictions.

 CWB Group, a Milton, ON, based organization providing professional services to the welding industry including certification, consulting, registration and  education programs - and IEC-BC , a not-for-profit  organization that provides BC employers with solutions, tools and resources they need to attract , hire and retain qualified immigrant talent have announced a new strategic partnership to  collaborate on developing CWB’s new Canadian Welder Competency and Credential Assessment (WCCA) program.

 WCCA will provide trained welders the resources required to ensure job readiness, success and retention in the welding and fabrication industry. The program, to be modelled on the IEC-BC FAST program, will enhance the ability to evaluate competencies of welding professionals regardless of origin, provide better understanding of the regulatory framework and licensing requirements by jurisdiction, provide evidence-based information on current demands, needs, and trends and increase pre-arrival preparedness  of internationally trained welders for integration into the welding profession. FAST is funded through the Future Skills Centre.

 The WCCA program is designed to address current and projected skill shortages in the welding industry and facilitate labour mobility between jurisdictions. A labour shortage impacts more than just the welding industry; it has direct effects on the manufacturing and fabricating industries as a whole, hindering Canada’s ability to compete globally. “CWB Group is honoured to be collaborating with IEC-BC to develop this innovative national welding competency and credential assessment program,” shared Michelle Stanford, Senior Vice President, Industry Solutions at CWB Group. “This collaboration will enable us to develop a program and resources, which support the successful employment of welders across Canada. Welding professionals, both newcomers to Canada and Canadians, will benefit by upgrading their skills and by accessing a suite of career development services to help them secure employment in one of the many industries desperate for skilled welding professionals.”

 With the WCCA program moving full force ahead, there is no better time for such a partnership between two organizations that are dedicated to the growth and prosperity of the Canadian skilled workforce.

 “For IEC-BC, this is an additional tool for newcomers to use and for employers to create truly diverse workplaces and find the talent that meets their needs,” said Patrick MacKenzie, IEC-BC, CEO. “We are excited to partner with CWB Group to help their clients transition into skilled welding professionals, and better prepare them for work in Canada.”

 In line with the efforts of the federal and provincial agencies in the assessment and recognition of foreign qualifications, the two organizations are attempting to create an environment where welding professionals are able to utilize their skills and experience and apply them within criteria established for Canadian tradespeople. Welding offers a lucrative financial incentive and the ability to create something that will outlast our generation and the generations to come, and through initiatives such as the WCCA, Canadian organizations are giving back to the industry and building a strong workforce that will have a positive effect on long-term economic performance.

 The CWB Group Welder Competency and Credential Assessment program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Program for the next two years.

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 About CWB Group

The CWB Group is an industry-supported private sector organization providing welding certification, management systems registration and training services to over 7600 companies in 34 countries. Supported through CWB Certification, CWB Education, CWB Registration, CWB Consulting, and the CWB Association membership, the CWB Group provides a comprehensive and integrated service to the welding and joining industry. Headquartered in Ontario, Canada, with staff and offices across the country, the CWB Group is accredited by and operates under the authority of the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) as a Certification Body for the administration of Canadian Standards Association (CSA) welding-related standards.

About the Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia

 The Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia (IEC-BC) is a not-for-profit organization that provides BC employers with solutions, tools, and resources that they need to attract, hire and retain qualified immigrant talent. IEC-BC believes that the successful integration of skilled newcomers into the BC labour force is critical to both their success and the province’s long-term economic performance. IEC-BC works with employers, government, and other partner stakeholders to ensure that BC employers can effectively integrate global talent.