Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New City Mentorship Program Welcomes New Canadians

The face of Calgary will be different in 2031. It is expected that 30 per cent of Calgarians will be new Canadians. Because of the shifting demographics of Canadian society, it will be necessary to staff hundreds of thousands of jobs with skilled labour from abroad.

That’s part of the reason why The City of Calgary is partnering with the Calgary Regional Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) to foster mentor relationships between City staff and new Canadians.

Helping new Canadians navigate the Calgary labour market will help The City maintain an experienced and skilled workforce while also helping develop staff for the greater Calgary community.

Human Resources Advisor, Cheryl Goldsmith, with The City’s Corporate Recruitment and Staffing team, summed it up this way, “We know we want to be diversity friendly and have the cultural competence to work with people who are not all the same.”

That’s great for The City but the real gains of a mentoring program may actually be in the rewards experienced by participants. Jason Luan, a Social Planner with Family and Community Support Services, is taking part as a mentor in this program and he laid out the benefits simply, “Mentoring is a fantastic way of helping others and helping ourselves. I guess... to me it is about giving back for what I have received from others in the past.”

The City is just starting this partnership and is excited to have additional rounds of intake for new mentors and mentees in the spring/summer timeframe. If you are interested in getting your company involved with a mentorship program for new Canadians, visit the CRIEC website for more information. If you are a new Canadian, or know a new Canadian who may benefit from one of Calgary’s many immigrant support societies, check out these links below. You can also do a simple online search using the keywords: Calgary immigrant support to find lists of many more agencies.

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