This article was submitted by Meri Ghazaryan, Manager of Global Connections at Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC BC).
Since its launch in 2012, MentorConnect has made a difference in the lives of over 400 newcomers to British Columbia. Bringing together skilled, job-ready new Canadians and established local professionals in an occupation-specific mentoring relationship has proven to be helpful to immigrants looking to secure employment commensurate with their level of education, skills and experience. And it has been invaluable to BC’s employers, including BC Hydro, City of Vancouver, TELUS, TD Canada Trust and others.
Participating mentors enhance their leadership and cross-cultural coaching skills, and employers get access to an untapped and skilled talent pool while advancing their corporate leadership brand. Mentees gain local insights into their profession, build viable professional networks, and prepare for the Canadian labour market, with over 70% finding employment in their field within six months after mentoring.
Adapted from a successful national model, MentorConnect is administered by IEC BC, a provincial not-for-profit organization that works with BC’s employers to help them attract, hire and retain qualified immigrant talent to address skilled-labour shortages in this province.
“If you like helping newcomers integrate and you have knowledge to share, the IEC-BC MentorConnect program is an excellent platform that allows for meaningful one-on-one connections to take place. It can lead to surprising outcomes that are rewarding for both the mentor and mentee.”
“The networking and ability to turn to someone who can offer support and guidance is of immense value.”
This is how it works:
Mentors and mentees commit to a total of 12 hours over two months. Meetings are held in person, online and over the phone. Following the meetings, mentors introduce mentees to two or more professionals within their networks for information interviews.