To help employers hire, retain and promote newcomers to Canada, an alliance of Toronto-area businesses and community organizations has launched a new website called hireimmigrants.ca.
The website will feature the workplace practices used by companies that stand out for their ability to integrate the foreign-trained workforce.
It’s part of a number of initiatives by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) to boost the integration of immigrants in the workforce. TRIEC is a multi-stakeholder body representing employers, unions, occupational regulatory bodies, post-secondary institutions, assessment service providers, community organizations, and the three levels of government.
One of the initiatives is a challenge, in partnership with Canadian HR Reporter and the Toronto Star, for employers to step forward and share their strategies for being a “best employer” for newcomers. The challenge will be launched in the fall.
Other initiatives to promote what organizers call “promising practices” among employers include a series of breakfast seminars for HR professionals, as well as an outreach campaign to raise awareness of the potential of immigrants to contribute to the economy.
According to Statistics Canada census figures, immigrants made up 70 per cent of the country’s labour force growth in 2001.
“Fortunately for Canada, we draw in numerous fabulously talented immigrants,” said Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto at the website launch. “Unfortunately for them and for us, we underutilize them. It is time to change that.”
Dominic D’Alessandro, president and CEO of Manulife Financial, also said Canada must improve the way the country integrates immigrants into the workforce and the economy.
“As employers we are an immigrant’s direct link to finding work in the fields they are trained for. And immigrants are our direct link to hiring from the global talent pool.”
The hireimmigrants.ca website features “best employer” practices at such organizations as American Express Canada, Apotex Inc., ATI Technologies, CIBC, City of Toronto, Ernst & Young, Girit Projects, Hummingbird Ltd, Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., IBM Canada, Iris Power Engineering Inc., LEA International, Magna International, Manulife Financial, NoAb BioDiscoveriess Inc., RBC Financial Group, St. Michael’s Hospital and Teranet Inc..
The site also features an online self-assessment program to encourage employers to review how they fare in terms of awareness and leadership, planning and sourcing, selection, development, and inclusiveness.
For more information visit www.hireimmigrants.ca.