The City of Toronto, Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) and The Mentoring Partnership recognized members of the Toronto Public Service for their contribution to mentoring skilled immigrants.
“By investing in national and international talent, we are advancing Toronto’s prosperity, opportunity and livability,” said Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell. “Providing access to these programs helps newcomers build resilience, overcome barriers and be better prepared to secure employment and make valuable contributions to society.”
The 13th annual Profession to Profession Mentoring Immigrants Program is a collaboration between The Mentoring Partnership, a TRIEC program, and community partners. Partners provide employment services and bridging programs to skilled immigrant professionals in the Greater Toronto Area, and coach mentees and mentors throughout the partnership.
“We are the largest contributor with the largest number of repeat mentors, thanks to the members of the Toronto Public Service who continue to lead the way,” said City Manager Peter Wallace.
“We will continue to find innovative ways to strengthen the program, enhance our capacity to serve Toronto’s diverse community, increase employment opportunities and implement our workforce plan.”
Employer partners engage with their staff to mentor immigrants in related professions. Mentors gain insight and knowledge about newcomer experiences and strengthen leadership, communication and coaching competencies. Mentees learn about workplace culture in the Canadian context, the local labour market and job search and networking strategies.
“It takes a whole village – or a city in fact – to make The Mentoring Partnership a success,” said Margaret Eaton, Executive Director of TRIEC. “The City of Toronto is one of TRIEC’s most long-standing and engaged employer partners, and it’s both humbling and motivating to witness their ongoing commitment and staff dedication to this program.”
In a 2016 survey, 88 per cent of mentees indicated that their mentors helped them become better prepared for employment, and 94 per cent noted an increase in confidence while talking about their skills and qualifications. About 73 per cent of mentees gained employment in a related field within 12 months of completing the program. A total of 635 City staff have mentored 1,590 mentees since the program started in 2004 with 283 staff being repeat mentors.
“As a newcomer to Canada, participating in the City of Toronto’s mentoring immigrants program has been life changing,” said Pourya Nazemi.
“My mentor, Andrew Au in City Planning, shared his expertise and insights about Canadian workplace values and culture, volunteer and job search strategies and connected me with industry professionals.
“Because of this opportunity, I am happy to share that I am now working for the City of Toronto as a heritage planner at Heritage Preservation Services.”