Exploring Magnet and partnership models to advance immigrant employmentAugust 13, 2018
By Ingrid Argyle, Manager of the Ottawa Employment Hub
On June 27, 2018, more than 30 community partners joined Ottawa Employment Hub to learn from Mark Patterson, Executive Director of Magnet and Hire Immigrants in Toronto, housed at Ryerson University, and Sue Sadler, Senior Vice President, Services and Program Development, ACCES Employment in Toronto.
Ottawa Employment Hub has partnered with Magnet for the past two years and now has more than 20 local partners engaged in the collaborative network, powered by a job-matching platform that connects employers to talent based on skills and qualifications. This Welcoming Ottawa Week (WOW) workshop provided community partners with the opportunity to hear firsthand from both Magnet and ACCES Employment, a leader in connecting employers with employees from diverse backgrounds in Toronto, on how they leverage partnerships to connect immigrant talent to jobs.
Mark Patterson spoke to his dual role as Executive Director of both Magnet and Hire Immigrants. Hire Immigrants, managed by the Global Diversity Exchange (GDX) at the Ted Rogers School of Management, profiles “what works” in immigrant employment worldwide, providing resources for employers, immigrant entrepreneurs and policy makers.
Mark explained how Magnet utilizes an advanced and protected recruitment model that promotes diversity and supports bias-free recruitment strategies, and emphasized its focus on partnerships. “Magnet always partners with community organizations, including employment services, settlement agencies, industry associations and business intermediaries, as well as colleges and universities,” he said. “We continue to build these partnerships in Ottawa, and this WOW event provided a great opportunity to share knowledge and learn how we can best focus collaborative efforts moving forward.”
Mark shared examples of how Magnet can drive collaborative action on immigrant employment, such as working with Starbucks on their commitment to hire 1,000 refugees, providing a portal to support and retain international students, and the ALiGN network’s assessment based matching to remove barriers for those with limited work experience. He also showcased new contextualized Labour Market Information (LMI) features of the platform, and how it can support pre-arrival services.
Sue Sadler highlighted ACCES Employment’s partnership with Magnet and Ryerson University, as well as their overall approach to immigrant employment. In 2017, ACCES served 32,000 job seekers through 25 tailored programs. Three-quarters of their clients are new immigrants.
Sue emphasized the importance of employer engagement and taking a sector-based approach. She shared ACCES’s six-tier model for sector-specific program delivery, as well as their focus on both academic and industry partnerships. “In consultation with employers and industry leaders, we have developed expertise in a wide range of sectors including engineering, finance, human resources, IT, sales and marketing, supply, and most recently, entrepreneurship,” said Sue. “We deliver these sector specific programs alongside communications and language training and mentoring opportunities.”
Hindia Mohamoud, Director of OLIP, thanked the guest speakers. “There is a lot of potential to explore, and now that we are connected, we can leverage the experience of Ryerson University and Access Alliance more intentionally,” said Hindia. “A key WOW objective is to foster connections and promote learning on the multiple complex pathways to building a welcoming city”.
Ottawa Employment Hub would like to thank OLIP for making this event possible, as well as Mark, Sue and those who filled the room to share their ideas and enthusiasm!
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