Vancouver, BC, June 11, 2009 - More skilled immigrants will now find employment in their field because of a new mentoring initiative. TD Bank Financial Group and ALLIES, a joint program of Maytree and The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, announced today the launch of a new National Mentoring Initiative at the 2009 ALLIES Learning Exchange conference at the Westin Bayshore Hotel (1601 Bayshore Drive) in Vancouver, B.C.
The goal of the initiative is to establish mentoring as a successful labour market strategy to give skilled immigrants better access to employment in Canada. The initiative builds on the knowledge and experience of the Mentoring Partnership, a Greater Toronto Area-wide program first launched by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), a multi-stakeholder council working to improve access to employment for immigrants in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
“Mentoring is a simple, yet powerful idea that builds on the strength of networks,” said Ratna Omidvar, President of Maytree. “One of the major barriers faced by skilled immigrants in finding employment in their occupation has always been the lack of professional networks and understanding of Canadian workplace culture and expectations. A strong mentoring program, where workplace ready immigrants are matched with Canadian professionals based on occupational criteria, has proved to be a successful strategy to lower those barriers. To have TD Bank Financial Group come on board as the funder for the Canada-wide initiative will ensure that we can replicate the success we had in the GTA much faster.”
“We’re an enthusiastic supporter of mentoring as a means to employment,” said Sue Cummings, Senior Vice President, Human Resources at TD Bank Financial Group. “In our years of experience with this model the results speak for themselves. Where else can you find a program that helps more than two-thirds of participants to find employment in their field or profession, and delivers a 67% increase in their average annual salary? This investment has a real impact on people’s lives and pays long-term social and economic dividends for our society.”
Participants entering an occupation-specific mentoring program possess the education, experience and language skills needed to excel in the workforce – all they need are the connections and knowledge that can only be gained from real-life experience.
Details on how organizations can get tools, resources and support to set up or expand their mentoring program are available online at www.maytree.com/integration/allies.
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ALLIES (Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrant Employment Strategies) is a five-year project jointly funded by Maytree and The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. ALLIES provides the information, learning and funding required by communities to adapt and implement successful immigrant employment approaches used by multi-stakeholder initiatives across the country. The project brings local players together to develop their own practical solutions for the integration of skilled immigrants into the labour market.
About Maytree: Established in 1982, Maytree is a private foundation that promotes equity and prosperity through its policy insights, grants and programs. The foundation has gained international recognition for its expertise in developing, testing and implementing programs and policy solutions related to immigration, integration and diversity in the workplace, in the boardroom and in public office. www.maytree.com.
About The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation: Established in 1937 by philanthropist and entrepreneur John Wilson McConnell, The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation funds projects in Canada that foster citizen engagement, build resilient communities and have the potential for national scale or impact. In the process of developing and supporting programs, the Foundation has come to appreciate better the importance of innovation, the exploration of new and effective ways of addressing intractable social problems and the challenge of ensuring that these new approaches are sustained. www.mcconnellfoundation.ca.
TD Community Giving: Making a Difference Together Children’s health, literacy and education, and the environment are the three main areas of focus for TD’s community giving. Flagship programs within these areas include: TD Children’s Hospital Fund; TD Friends of the Environment Foundation; TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; TD Canadian Children’s Book Week; TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership; and the TD Summer Reading Club. With support from customers and employees, TD is involved with a host of national, regional and local causes benefiting diversity, arts and culture and other community programs. In 2008, TD donated $35 million to more than 2,100 organizations across Canada.