The City’s mentorship program helps new Canadians connect with mentors who will work with them to improve their skills, build professional networks, and create job opportunities.
New Canadians are an important source of talent for Canadian employers. Mentoring gives new Canadians critical insights into the local labour market and workplace culture, and helps them integrate into the workforce.
Skilled immigrants who participate in occupation-specific mentoring are more likely to find employment in their field.
Mentorship improves professional and personal networks, job search strategies, resume and cover letter writing, and interview skills. The program also increases knowledge of the labour market and specific industries.
Mentors also gain insight into the challenges faced by new immigrant professionals, and have the opportunity to enhance their coaching, intercultural, and leadership skills.
Background on the mentorship program
During 2010 – 2011, the City participated in a joint pilot project with Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC), SUCCESS, Immigrant Service Society of BC, and MOSAIC to help new immigrants find work that is relevant to their education, skills, and experience. The pilot team won the City of Vancouver 2012 Service Award for creating community connections.
The successful pilot project encouraged the City to consider mentorship as an ongoing program. Following the success of the program in 2012, the City has launched its third mentorship cohort. The Mentorship Program continues as a joint partnership between the City, the Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC), and several immigrant service providers.
Each year, participating City staff mentor the group of newly-immigrated professionals to take advantage of their skills and experience in the local labour market. Staff also benefit from the Mentorship Program: they grow into better leaders and coaches, and are more sensitive to cross-cultural issues.