With over 75 percent participants finding meaningful employment in their field of expertise, IEC-BC’s partnership with the City of Vancouver (COV) in the MentorConnect Program has been a high-impact strategy helping new Canadians integrate in their new home country. On May 24, 2018, 41 COV mentors came together with the new group of mentees for the launch of the 7th annual program round.
“The City of Vancouver was our first partner in this program,” said IEC-BC CEO Patrick MacKenzie at the event. “These remarkable results speak to dedication of each of your almost 150 mentors over these years. Many other organizations have since followed your lead.”
MentorConnect matches job-ready skilled immigrants in BC with established local professionals for occupation-specific coaching – helping them understand the Canadian context of their profession, expand their networks, and improve their employment prospects. Currently, IEC-BC works with 20 employer partners.
According to the COV staff who attended the kick-off event, the program also offers tremendous opportunities for participating mentors. Professional development and growth as a leader, as well as insights into perspectives from around the world – these are just some of the benefits that they note.
“It’s an incredibly rewarding program, and one of the best professional experiences I have had,” said COV Recruitment Manager and 2-times IEC-BC mentor Maria de Brigard.
“It’s an ongoing learning opportunity,” said Zhila Pirmoradi, COV business process analyst, who had first joined the program as a mentee , and is now a 3-times mentor.
For some, mentoring goes far beyond professional coaching.
“Not only do you build a mentoring relationship, but you also develop a friendship and help new immigrants with many other aspects of their integration,” said COV Social Planner David Lewis, who will be participating in the program for the second time.
The new cohort of mentees come from such countries as China, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Spain, Syria, and the Philippines.
Read Zhila’s story here