Many newcomers to Canada arrive with extensive work experience and a significant education; yet many are unable to find employment where they can put this experience to good use and truly fulfill their potential. In 2017, the unemployment rate for recent immigrants was 10.4 per cent, compared to 6.2 per cent for people born in Canada. To help newcomers transition, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) announced a new partnership to help job-ready immigrants achieve gainful employment across Canada.
With the new three-year partnership, RBC is the lead sponsor of the National Mentoring Partnership, a mentorship opportunity where skilled immigrants across Canada are matched with mentors from various employers, including RBC. This sponsorship commitment will enable TRIEC to onboard a total of six national mentoring partners and six employer partners from across Canada to match 840 immigrant professionals with mentors in their occupations.
Mentoring partners (regional non-profit organizations who specialize in immigration and employment) working together with employer partners will increase access to mentoring for immigrant professionals. Mentoring partners will deliver the program locally in their region. Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC) will be delivering the program in Vancouver as the next confirmed market of this partnership. Additional markets will be confirmed later this year, as well as in 2020 and 2021.
“Immigrants today contribute significantly to Canada’s growing economy, but too many newcomers are still unable to find employment that is commensurate with their skills and education,” said Debroy Chan, TRIEC immigrant inclusion strategies director. “Mentoring is a proven way of helping highly skilled newcomers reconnect with their careers in Canada so that they can contribute to their fullest potential.”
The program kicks off on Jan. 25 with its inaugural event in Toronto where immigrant mentees will meet their RBC mentors for the first time. RBC mentors have worked in the same field as their mentees and offer career advice for resume building, interview preparation and networking, among other areas to enable the success of job-ready newcomers. The program also aims to encourage RBC and employees of other employer partners to develop leadership skills and give back to the community, while gaining insight into the value that the immigrant talent pool brings to the labour market.
“Transitioning into a new life in an unfamiliar country can be daunting and we strive to equip newcomers with the knowledge and tools they need to break down barriers,” said Ivy Chiu, RBC newcomer strategy senior director. “Our partnership with TRIEC and, in particular, the National Mentoring Program launching across Canada, helps our clients and communities in a meaningful way and is strongly aligned to RBC’s values.”