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Top performers recognized for leveraging skilled immigrant talent

The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) and RBC announced the winners of the 5th Annual Immigrant Success (IS) Awards, recognizing exemplary practice in integrating skilled immigrants in the Toronto Region.

“RBC’s proud support of the IS Awards reflects our strong belief that diversity is a competitive advantage. The more employers tap the full range of capabilities of our workforce – to innovate and adapt, develop new markets and foster new relationships – the more competitive Canada will be in the global economy and the more prosperous we will be at home,” said Zabeen Hirji, Chief Human Resources Officer at RBC.

“Over five years we’ve seen a notable uptake and sophistication of recruitment and retention strategies. Employers are now realizing the benefits of a more diverse, globally-aware and connected workforce. IS Award winners are real examples of the benefits that can come from mobilizing the best and brightest in our city,” said Elizabeth McIsaac, executive director of TRIEC.

Why immigrant integration matters to Toronto:

• Immigrants can open doors to global markets and trade.

• International and diverse work experience can trigger innovative products and solutions.

• Knowledge of additional languages can lead to new and deeper business opportunities.

• Immigrants can bring high levels of post-secondary education and training.

• 50 per cent of Toronto’s population was born outside of Canada.

Organizations and individuals honoured for their innovative and leading practices that work to engage skilled immigrants in the workforce include:

Toronto Foundation for Student Success (TFSS) Internationally trained doctors – not yet practising medicine here in Canada – are employed to provide vision and hearing screening in priority neighbourhoods. Immigrant doctors gain Canadian experience while supporting largely newcomer populations with essential and culturally-sensitive healthcare service in their native languages.

Thales Canada, Transportation With 90 per cent of its business in the global marketplace, Thales stands out for its 95 per cent retention rate of skilled immigrants whose efforts are integral to securing and servicing international business contracts.

Deloitte This global financial consulting firm understands that leveraging immigrant talent goes far beyond just recruitment. Beginning on day one of employment, Deloitte administers a comprehensive suite of supportive programs to connect newcomers to colleagues and professional development opportunities.

Nancy Steele, Director, American Express Technologies, American Express Canada Nancy Steele knew that her success was directly linked to her ability to draw the right talent to her department. While HR did not fall within her mandate, Nancy quickly became known for piloting a skilled immigrant recruitment and retention strategy in her organization. Nancy’s efforts have resulted in an unprecedented 11 hires in approximately two years and first-ever cross-cultural training for new hires and managers.

The IS Awards are presented by TRIEC and sponsored by RBC.
TRIEC creates and champions solutions to better integrate skilled immigrants in the Greater Toronto Region labour market.

• For more information, visit www.triec.ca.

• For profiles of winners, visit www.isawards.ca.

Posted: Mar 31, 2011

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