In July 2014, IEC-BC made the transition from being a program of Vancouver Foundation, which incubated the Council in 2008, to become an independent not-for-profit society. This evolution is a reflection of the strong programming provided by the organization in helping employers and communities access and integrate the full range of skills that trained immigrants bring to British Columbia.
2015-2016 was a year of inspiration and innovation, a year of identifying new strategies and developing new business models – all with a view to helping British Columbia employers effectively connect with immigrant talent and stay ahead of the curve. On this journey, we were inspired and helped by the many employers, industry associations, immigrant settlement agencies, Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs), community leaders, and other stakeholders we have had the privilege to work with. We received the financial support of our funder, the Government of Canada, and we were very fortunate to benefit from the talents and commitment of IEC-BC’s staff.
Responding to the year’s challenges required leadership and innovation, and IEC-BC piloted cutting-edge projects, forged new partnerships, and served as a catalyst for change – in both attitudes and practices. Throughout the year, we engaged with our key stakeholders to identify strategies to effectively leverage the potential of the skilled immigrant labour force in BC, unlock hiring biases and remove barriers to the employment of global talent in the Province.
By any measure, 2014-15 was a milestone year for IEC-BC. One of our proudest accomplishments during the 2014-2015 fiscal year was our success in facilitating dialogue and networking opportunities among skilled immigrants, employers, community agencies and other partners needed to help employers overcome barriers to tap into the immigrant talent pool.
Our one-day summit Mind The Gap – Winning Global Talent for BC’s Continued Prosperity set the stage for 2014/1015 by bringing together more than 80 business, industry, government and community leaders to identify strategic immigrant workforce development practices needed to address the looming shortage of skilled workers in BC. Over this fiscal year, IEC-BC held numerous workshops, round-tables and events to keep the conversation going and encourage like-minded partners to explore opportunities and develop innovative solutions to create diverse, inclusive workplaces that improve labour force participation by qualified immigrants.