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2009 Integrating Immigrant Talent Toronto Training Board Diversity Forum
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2009 Integrating Immigrant Talent Toronto Training Board Diversity Forum


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  • Staff, managers, boards, everyone? Open space for communication: what does diversity really mean for your staff, organization or community? Strategic priority setting: cultural competence is a cornerstone of your business practice Senior team involvement and leadership Provide cultural competence training to your staff with regards to recruitment, selection and integration of diverse talent Demonstrate commitment to cultural competence through evaluation and training Development of baseline indicators to track progress Systemic collaboration initiatives between employers, colleges, universities, community agencies, immigrant professional associations and immigrants themselves are necessary to develop comprehensive solutions Program Providers Ensure effective consultation of clients in new program development to validate the need for programming. Ensure all immigrant programs provide a suite of meaningful, outcome based, occupation-specific services such as interview preparation, work placements, individualized career coaching, communication/language supports and mentoring.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Integrating Immigrant Talent Presentation to the Diversity Forum October 16, 2009 Increasing the Capacity of SMEs to Hire and Retain ITIs Project Funded by the Government of Ontario Ministry of Citizenship & Immigration
    • 2. Presentation
      • Current labour market projections
      • Immigrant talent to Toronto and employment outcomes
      • Challenges in integrating immigrant talent
      • Ontario colleges’ project on enhancing employer abilities to recruit and select immigrant talent
      • Some general recommendations that can aid organizations integrate immigrant talent
    • 3. Labour Market Projections
      • Retirement Rates (Statistics Canada, Census 2006)
      • 12.5% of Toronto workforce near retirement (55 to 64)
      • 21.5% in business, finance and administration occupations and 20.2% work in sales and service occupations
      • High retirement rates within NOC-B/C occupations and primary sector but not within NOC-A professional fields (some exceptions)
      • Job Creation Predictions (Ontario Futures)
      • 22% jobs to require university degree
      • 29% jobs to require college diploma
      • 29% jobs to require grade 12 or training
      • Emerging fields (Ontario Futures)
      • Knowledge intensive areas requiring high levels of education (Masters/PhD) currently unknown
    • 4. Labour Market Projections
      • Economic situation/ downturn (Conference Board of Canada; RBC Poll 2009)
      • Economic loss of $4-5 billion each year from underutilizing immigrants
      • Canada rated “D” in productivity and innovation since 1980s
      • 28% of boomer retirees delaying exit due to the economy
      • Conservative hiring estimates
      • Job losses in manufacturing and restructuring
      • Eventual economic growth (Ontario Futures; Statistics Canada, Census 2006)
      • Technological changes will fuel limited but steady demand for university-educated professionals in emerging occupations (NOC-A)
      • Predominantly trades and support professions (NOC-B/C) shortages identified
      • By 2017 immigration will account for all net additions to the labour force in Canada
    • 5. Immigrant Talent
      • Annually 30% of 260,000 Canadian immigrants (78,000) settle in Toronto
      • Highly educated group (70+% economic class; have Bachelor’s degree or higher; IELTS 7 English fluency level; 20+% in regulated professions; highly multilingual)
      • Disconnect between labour market projections and immigrant talent being recruited - immigration system skewed towards professionals with high levels of education and experience whereas shortages in NOC B/C levels
      • Employment outcomes for immigrants are very poor - consistent de-skilling and downward mobility of immigrant NOC-A professionals to NOC C/D professions
      • Movement from management to primary occupations is visible (CIITE Immigrant Survey 2009-09; other sources)
      • Strategies to fix employment outcomes for immigrants have included over $60m spent on bridge training for immigrants since 2003 benefiting 30,000 newcomers (Government of Ontario; PROMPT) + newcomer program funding (Canada - Ontario Labour Market Accord) of $900m over 5 years
    • 6. Challenges
      • Funding History
      • Focus over the past two decades has been on “fixing the immigrant” by providing services/ training
      • Emphasis needs to be on helping employers to better hire and recruit immigrant talent
      • Make the business case for diversity
      • The usual suspects
      • Language, credentials, “fit” (as a catch-all phrase for many issues) (multiple studies)
      • The underlying suspects
      • Ability to source diverse candidates, screen resumes, be able to interview diverse talent, decode “fit” and create an inclusive environment
      • Cultural competence on the employer side is critical for making good hiring decisions
    • 7. CON*NECT/ ICHR Project
      • Ontario colleges move strategically into employer cultural competence training
      • Increasing the Capacity of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) to Hire and Retain Internationally Trained Immigrants (ITIs)
      • Pre-piloted “recruitment and selection” cultural competence workshops developed by TRIEC and Ryerson University (150 employers in pilot)
      • Objective to equip employers (hiring managers, HR professionals, small business owners) with techniques, strategies, tools and resources to effectively recruit and select qualified skilled immigrants into the labour market
      • Workshops align well with Ontario colleges mandate to provide training to enhance the work place
      • College system to deliver 160 workshops to 1,800 SMEs across Ontario (large enterprises can also participate) from January 2010 to March 2011
      • SMEs have fewer than 500 employees and annual revenue of $50m
    • 8. CON*NECT/ ICHR Project
      • Recruitment
      • Address issue of skills shortages by considering skilled immigrants as a talent source to fill recruitment gaps
      • Mitigate selection bias in the creation of a job description, in identifying channels to advertise a job opening, and during screening
      • Selection
      • Identify cultural biases and assumptions that occur during the interview that may inadvertently or unconsciously impede one’s ability to make a good hiring decision
      • Workshop Format
      • Simulation-based, experiential learning model (videos, role play exercises, case studies) including pre/post workshop survey to measure change in cultural competence
    • 9. What can we all do differently?
      • Based on research and experience
      • Set cultural competence and diversity as a strategic priority
      • Involve the senior team to lead the strategic direction
      • Create an open space for communication about cultural competence, diversity, inclusiveness
      • Provide all staff with cultural competence training
      • Dedicate resources to evaluation of cultural competence and diversity objectives
      • Consult all stakeholders (including users/recipients) effectively prior to developing new strategies, policies and programs
      • Engage in meaningful cross-sector collaboration to develop comprehensive solutions
      Contact Nikhat Rasheed, Senior Project Manager, CON*NECT/ICHR Project; 416-305-7830