Sponsors acting as mentors

A sponsor or other volunteer helping a newcomer find the best work possible is very much acting as a mentor. However, once a newcomer has identified a specific sector of interest or taken a job in a particular sector, it may be very useful for him or her to receive additional mentorship support from someone has industry knowledge, experience and contacts.

The assistance of such a mentor can help identify work opportunities, provide advice on recommended training and career development, tailor resumes, make useful introductions, and help a newcomer deal with questions and issues that arise in the course of employment.

The sponsor or other volunteer, who is initially helping a newcomer find work, may be able to connect the newcomer, through his or her networks, with a mentor in a particular area of interest.

Mentorship programs

There are also many formal mentorship programs which specifically seek to help newcomers and are available through various organizations. Many of these programs are focused on helping professionally trained, skilled newcomers, but the concept of having a mentor can be applied to all newcomers interested in any job in a particular sector of work.

TRIEC Mentoring Partnership

The Mentoring Partnership of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) focuses on university-educated, skilled, unemployed immigrants, with sufficient English proficiency, seeking to bring them together with established professionals in occupation-specific mentoring relationships.

Mentorship for newcomers to Canada

To be eligible for matching in the TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program, a newcomer must:

  • have lived in Canada for five years or less and have limited or no Canadian work experience in your profession OR have re-engaged with your profession through academic training or bridging within the past 2 years;
  • have the English skills required to perform effectively in the workplace (CLB 6 to 8);
  • have at least two years of international work experience in his or her area of expertise;
  • have achieved at least a bachelor’s degree – or equivalent post-secondary education – from outside of Canada;
  • be eligible to work in Canada;
  • be currently unemployed or underemployed i.e. not working in the newcomer’s field of expertise;
  • be actively seeking work in the newcomer’s field​.

The following organizations are community partners in TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program:

  • ACCES Employment
  • COSTI Immigrant Services
  • Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre
  • Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre
  • George Brown College
  • Humber College
  • JobStart
  • JVS Toronto
  • Seneca College
  • Sheridan College
  • Skills for Change
  • The Neighbourhood Organization (TNO)

Other mentorship programs

The Welcome Talent Canada program of Jumpstart (formerly Refugee Career Jumpstart Project (RCJP)) and LinkedIn is another mentorship program focused on skilled refugee newcomers. The program is centered around newcomer job-seekers in Toronto and Montreal with advanced English or French skills. Program participants are first trained by Jumpstart on how to leverage LinkedIn’s resources to find employment, grow their network, develop new skills, create a strong professional identity, and research the Canadian job market. Newcomers are then provided mentorship through a matched LinkedIn member, who will help them with their entry into the Canadian job market.

Windmill Microlending‘s Mentorship Program seeks to assist the mentee in navigating the Canadian labour market, as well as providing them with the necessary tools to help them find employment that matches their skills, experience and education. The goal of this program is to provide participating Windmill clients with help, advice, and knowledge from someone who has successfully completed the process and who is now working full time in their desired field.

There are numerous bridging and connections programs offered in the GTA, all of which include a mentorship component. So, too, do the many programs for women and youth.

For further information on these and other mentorship programs, see the list appended to the end of this post, below. You can also use our search bar and enter “mentor”. Organizations offering non-TRIEC-related mentorship programs in the GTA (not including universities which also can provide mentors) for newcomers include:

  • ACCES Employment (banking; cybersecurity; electrical engineering; engineering; financial services; human resources; information technology; project management; sales & marketing; supply chain)
  • Agincourt Community Services Association (customer service, food preparation and service, hospitality, retail, sales &marketing)
  • Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses (CARE) (nursing)
  • Collège Boréal
  • COSTI (tradespeople)
  • Culture Link
  • Enactus Ryerson (entrepreneurship)
  • Futurepreneur Canada(entrepreneurship)
  • Job Skills (accounting; administrative support and reception; graphic design; health care; human resources/records management; IT technical support, LAN administration and web design; sales & marketing)
  • JobStart
  • JVS Toronto (architecture; banking & finance; geriatrics)
  • Mennonite New Life Centre (mental health; media & communications)
  • Newcomer Women’s Services
  • Rexdale Women’s Centre
  • Scadding Court Community Centre (entrepreneurship)
  • Skills for Change (entrepreneurship; health informatics; electricians, millwrights; plumbing; welding)
  • Toronto Arts Council (artists)
  • Toronto District School Board (entrepreneurship)
  • Toronto Region Conservation Authority (Conservation, Engineering, Environmental science)
  • UnstoppableMe
  • VPI Working Solutions
  • Woodgreen Community Services (finance & accounting; health care; IT; office administration; personal support workers)
  • Youth Employment Services (YES)
  • YWCA