Alberta invests on immigrant career mentorship programs
by Riggs Zyrille Vergara, Publishing Editor
Eight organizations across Alberta will receive various amounts of grants totaling to $2.1 million from the provincial government as part of the Alberta Immigrant Mentorship Innovation Grant. This investment aims to “deliver career mentorship programs that help newcomers find meaningful employment based on their work experience, education and skills.”
Each of the eight organizations will have their own special project relevant to their industry aiming to provide long-term mentorship opportunities to newcomers.
“As an immigrant to Canada, I recognize the important role that mentorship can play in helping newcomers thrive when establishing their careers in a new country. These projects will help newcomers match with professional mentors and build connections to increase their employability while strengthening Alberta’s workforce with the skills and talent to support businesses across the province,” Kaycee Madu, Minister of Labour and Immigration said in a press release.
The Alberta International Medical Graduate Association (AIMGA) offers one-on-one personal mentorship opportunities for international medical graduates. Medical graduates have a chance to assume residency positions at both the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary. They are receiving a grant of $298,980.
Arrive and Thrive Alberta is the name of the mentorship program from Windmill Microlending which aims to “improve the economic and labour market integration of Alberta newcomers” which received $256,500. Windmill Microlending is an organization that offers affordable loans of up to $15,000 for newcomers wanting to jumpstart a professional life in Canada through licensing or training. According to them, they are removing a key barrier for newcomers who are likely not to have any Canadian credit history and collateral.
“These mentorship projects will help break down barriers that newcomers often face when first trying to build their careers in Alberta by helping them understand how to apply their professional skills and experience in a Canadian context. As we move forward in our economic recovery, we will continue to invest in Alberta’s newcomers so they can put their skills and talent to work in jobs that support local communities across the province,” Muhammad Yaseen, Associate Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism said in a similar press release.
Some community-specific programs for skilled newcomers are also being funded by the province. Calgary Catholic Immigration Society has a mentorship program for newcomers in Brooks and Claresholm. This includes Saamis Immigration Services Association for Medicine Hat and Grande Prairie Council for Lifelong Learning for Grand Prairie. For Edmontonians, there are Igbo Cultural Association of Edmonton, Nasipitnons in Edmonton and Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council.