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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

Hopefully someone will have some much appreciated information for me. I'm an Indian citizen currently residing in Australia. I've recently obtained a Master in Biotechnology at Melbourne, and at the moment I'm finding it difficult to get a job in my field here, which unfortunately means I cannot get a PR here as the Skill requirements currently stand.

My main enquiry is: if I were to seek permanent residency in Canada, I would need a job offer. Obviously, I could simply send out applications to jobs from here, but I feel the likelihood of anything to come from that is very low. Is there a recruitment group or agency any of you know from experience or reputation who could help me with finding a job in my field in Canada? This could be a general recruiter or specifically in Healthcare, as long as the recruiter would help me directly to find a job there, and not a recruitment organisation that would simply keep my resume on file, like many I've dealt with here. Somone who would also help with the migration bit would also be a plus.

My other enquiry is with regards to the experience required. I will soon complete one year of experience as a Pharmacy Assistant at a compounding pharmacy here. This isn't really related to my skill, but its not entirely unrelated either, as on paper it involves a laboratory and healthcare. Would it be considered as one full year of experience if its not entirely related to my field?

I've tried googling and researching here, and a few options for recruiters have come up, but they seem a bit shady and I'm sure there are more out there who would seem more reliable.

I appreciate any responses I get from here. Thanks!
 

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You're not likely to get a job as a Pharmacy Assistant, as those positions are very difficult to come by.

You see, Canada has recently introduced national regulations for Pharmacy Technicians (this started in 2011) and those who chose not to go through the regulation process (bridging courses and exams) stayed as Pharmacy Assistants whilst everyone else who was a technician at the time went through the registration process were able to keep their "technician" designation... most of the work in the field is for registered Technicians (if you want a job in a hospital, most jobs will be for registered techs and as most hospitals are unionised, the full-time work will likely be filled from within the department), as they are able to do more than Assistants and as such, jobs in the Assistant position are harder to come by, as the Technicians can fill them as needed.

I know this information as fact, as I was a Pharmacy Technician in the hospital system in Canada for 12 years before I moved to the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Firstly, thanks for the reply!

But, maybe I didn't express it properly. My position as a pharmacy assistant is just to stay relevant in healthcare, and isn't related to the kind of work I'm seeking. I'm more into laboratory research and analysis, although I also have the skills to be in the administrative or management aspects of healthcare and biotech, although I imagine getting entry level positions to that respect would also be difficult.

Anyways, to be clear, I'm looking for positions in a research or medical laboratory, or as a biotech administration or management associate.

Thanks, again.
 

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In regards to getting a biotech job, that's going to be difficult without relevant experience. You could try looking on work sites like Workopolis or Monster or Indeed and applying directly with potential employers.

I would also recommend creating a LinkedIn account as well... you never know who is looking to hire.

In regards to your work experience: I think that linking your experience as a Pharmacy Assistant to your education in Biotechnology would be a stretch.. most Assistant duties within the role in Canada are more akin to those of a shop assistant or warehouse person.

The key responsibilities from one major Canadian drug store chain are as follows:

Key responsibilities of a Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacy Technician include:
- Patient greeting and confirmation of accuracy of all pertinent prescription information prior to filling,
- Data entry of patient care information into HealthWatch,
- Third Party adjudication (if necessary),
- Accurate dispensing prescription medications,
- Maintenance of pharmacy stock through inventory control systems,
- General OTC inquiries from patients and referral to Pharmacist where required and necessary,
- Handling customer prescription pick up,
- Assisting with cashier responsibilities as required in the Pharmacy
None of those sounds anything remotely like it would be involved with the biotech industry and as such it's highly unlikely that CIC would consider your year as an assistant to be relevant for the biotech field.

From the CIC website:

Proof of work experience

Purpose

To prove each work experience claim and to validate that the applicant meets program requirements

Document requirements

The personalized document checklist in MyCIC prompts the applicant with an upload field for each work experience declared.

At completeness check, the processing office only determines whether the required documents are included. The validity or fraudulence of the information is assessed only if and when the application is placed into processing.

The following documents are mandatory for each work experience declared:

a reference or experience letter from the employer

should be an official document printed on company letterhead (must include the applicant’s name, the company’s contact information [address, telephone number and e-mail address], and the name, title and signature of the immediate supervisor or personnel officer at the company);
should indicate all positions held while employed at the company and must include the following details: job title, duties and responsibilities, job status (if current job), dates worked for the company, number of work hours per week and annual salary plus benefits.


if the work experience is in Canada, proof may include copies of T4 tax information slips, Notices of Assessment (NOA) and Option C printouts issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (the time period for these documents should reflect the work experience timeframe, e.g., work experience from 2006 to 2008 requires only documents from those calendar years).
if the applicant is self-employed, articles of incorporation or other evidence of business ownership, evidence of self-employment income, and documentation from third-party individuals indicating the service provided along with payment details (self-declared main duties or affidavits are not acceptable proof of self-employed work experience).


Individuals who must submit this documentation

The principal applicant
Their spouse or common-law partner (if work experience in Canada is claimed)
While you can state that you have some employment history outside of Canada, I wouldn't rely on it to get you any work experience points in the Express Entry system.


Good luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the info WestCoastCanadian. I see the issue there, and I'm hoping that with my employer's letter stating my duties in the compounding lab aspect of the pharmacy there may be a way, but I'm still doubtful. You will surely know better.

Also, I'm mainly considering the FSW program only, since the cut off for Express Entry currently seems beyond my reach with my level of experience and lack of "adaptability".

Anyways, I think it would be better to properly discuss with an agent/recruiter, as getting a job in my field might still be the way to go, especially if the limiting factor is the experience. Workopolis I haven't used yet, so I'll check it out. Meanwhile, still looking for a reliable recruiter/immigration agent to talk to.
 

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The direct apply FSW program (where you apply according to your NOC code and hope that you get in before the cap is reached) ended 31 December 2014 and Express Entry took its place... you must qualify for Express Entry and be eligible to receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residency in Canada in the Federal Skilled Worker program - i.e. you require a certain level of education and English/French language ability in order to be eligible for Express Entry and then your ranking within the in Express Entry pool must be high enough to be included in the number of invitations that are allocated to each draw... Express Entry is a continuous intake program (i.e. there is no annual cap on the number of applications received per job category) and the number of invitations allocated and the minimum required score changes from draw to draw.

Here is a listing of all of the draws that have taken place as well as the number of invitations allocated to the draw and the minimum required ranking score to qualify to be considered for an invitation... keep in mind that the invitations are issued much in the same way as spots at university are issued in that the Express Entry invitations are only ever given to the candidates in the pool with the top scores, so just meeting the minimum score will never guarantee that you will receive an invitation


In regards to the work experience... from the website:

Skilled work experience

Your work experience must be:

at least one year (1,560 hours total / 30 hours per week), continuous full-time or an equal amount in part-time,

paid work (volunteer work, unpaid internships do not count),

in the same NOC skill type (0, A or B),

within the last 10 years, and

at skill type 0, or skill levels A or B of the 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC).
It looks like your work as a pharmacy assistant doesn't qualify in your situation, as the biotech field and pharmacy technician work are not the same, and as pharmacy assistant work is more or less unskilled (i.e. assistants can be hired off the street and trained without any formal education), the skill set wouldn't match that of someone in the biotech field.
 
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