International Partnership between Kaleidoscope and the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC)

International Partnership between Kaleidoscope and the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC)

Kaleidoscope Initiative partnership with the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) to bring innovation in immigrant employment to Perth

The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) has recently signed up as a formal partner of the Kaleidoscope Initiative. They will work with the City of Stirling and other partners to share their international expertise in immigrant employment, and workforce diversity and inclusion.

TRIEC champions the professional skills and experience that immigrants bring to the Toronto labour market. For over 12 years, their innovative programs and solutions have helped the GTA to prosper from this rich source of diverse talent. TRIEC has developed a vast array of corporate partnerships and successful programs, including TRIEC Mentoring Partnership, the Professional Immigrant Networks initiative, and training range of learning and development programs and resources for organizations.

TRIEC’s Executive Director, Margaret Eaton, is excited about the opportunity to work with the Kaleidoscope Initiative, and to share successful models that can be adapted and implemented in Australia.

TRIEC has spent a lot of time developing successful models. Rather than reinventing the wheel, through sharing our evidence-based programs we want to help other organisations build on the foundations and success that we have achieved so far.

Through the TRIEC Mentoring Partnership, TRIEC has facilitated over 13,000 mentoring relationships between immigrant professionals and established Canadian professionals. Margaret states:

A critical component of our success is the mentoring program, which focuses on empowering immigrants to reach their professional goals. Through the program the mentor contributes 18 hours of their time, providing their mentee with support over a three-month period. It works both ways – the mentor gains just as much knowledge and experience as the mentee. We also found there is a lack of awareness of immigrants’ skills and capabilities and these mentoring programs help break this barrier down.

In Australia, recruitment industry experts estimate the ‘hidden job market’ accounts for 60-80% of all new employment opportunities (the West Australian, 30 Sept 2017). TRIEC is well-aware of this challenge, as Margaret highlights:

For many newcomers, the missing link is a connection with professional networks. In most job markets a large proportion of jobs are hidden, only becoming available through social networks. It is vital that immigrants have connections into networks to access these jobs.

As well as connecting immigrants to mentors, TRIEC addresses this issue by facilitating a network of 70 different associations run by and for immigrants in Toronto, and helping employers to reach immigrants through these networks.

Many immigrants join together to support each other. The immigrant-led professional associations TRIEC works with are often small and lacking in capacity. Up to 50% of these associations’ members are underemployed and unemployed. TRIEC helps them with governance, volunteer management, connecting to employers, media and public speaking training.

Over the next year the Kaleidoscope Initiative will work with TRIEC to adapt and pilot TRIEC’s flagship programs in the City of Stirling.

This international partnership is the first of its kind for TRIEC and builds on partnerships that they have developed in Canada. Currently, TRIEC is connected to six sister organisations across Canada who are delivering their evidence-based models of immigrant engagement. This breadth of experience has created strong foundations for success, and TRIEC is keen to support organisations to build on these pathways rather than reinventing them.

Margaret sees opportunities for the Kaleidoscope Initiative to grow a network of Australian partners to enable the sharing of expertise in this area.

Knowing that a warm welcome and a smooth path to accessing the job they need will be extended to immigrants from the City of Stirling, is reason enough for me to be excited about this international partnership.

A reciprocal opportunity could emerge from the City of Stirling’s international partnership with TRIEC, as Margaret points out, “This could provide a case study for us to create a model for sharing our programs around the world in the future”.

In Canada, immigrants contribute around $3 billion dollars to the economy each year. Engaging immigrants in meaningful employment opportunities that leverage their skills and training, provides a significant contribution to the economy.

The Kaleidoscope Initiative will be hosting a visit from Margaret Eaton in March 2018. Sign up to our e-newsletter and check our events page for updates.

Find out more about how you can get involved in the Kaleidoscope Initiative


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