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Mentoring delivers benefits

Thursday December 03, 2015 Written by  Retain Canada
The Mentoring Partnership, which pairs skilled immigrants with established professionals in their field, drives value for both newcomers and broader society.

The announcement was made by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), the organization that coordinates the program, during the program's annual recognition reception, hosted by Telus in Toronto on Nov. 30. The event also honoured the outstanding work of the program's mentors and employer partners in 2015.

Since 2004, The Mentoring Partnership has paired over 11,500 newcomers with mentors in their field in the Toronto region. A partnership between TRIEC and LEAP: The Centre for Social Impact (a venture philanthropy organization which scales organizations with quantifiable impact), recently concluded an impact assessment. The evaluation found that for the $1,700 the program invests per mentee, The Mentoring Partnership returns approximately $15,000 in benefits associated to taxes and another $2,000 in potential network affects to society. That works out to a return of $10.50 in benefits to society for every $1 invested.

The evaluation was conducted by the Boston Consulting Group. It also determined that the initial investment per mentee is paid back within two years.

"We have always known that The Mentoring Partnership has a big impact both for the individual immigrant and for the economy," said Margaret Eaton, executive director at TRIEC. "This evaluation is just more proof of our core belief: when immigrants prosper, we all do."

The program yields additional benefits to society not quantified in the assessment, such as decreased social assistance due to securing gainful employment. Similarly, there are benefits from improved psychological well-being for mentee participants. Studies have shown that immigrants who are unemployed or underemployed score more poorly on mental health assessments.

The Mentoring Partnership's success is driven by its service delivery and employer partners. Employer partners also see significant benefits from their participation in the program. One such partner is Scotiabank whose employees have mentored more than 1,000 immigrant professionals through the program. The company was recognized at the recognition reception for reaching the 1,000 mentor-mentee partnership milestone.

"As Canada's international bank, we believe inclusion makes us stronger," said Rania Llewellyn, senior vice-president of cash management and payment services, global transaction banking, at Scotiabank, and a past mentor in the program. "The Mentoring Partnership is an opportunity to give back to our communities while helping to build a diverse and inclusive workplace and providing professional development opportunities for our employees."

Dentons Canada LLP, Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning and TELUS were also recognized during the event for their employees having mentored more than 100 skilled immigrants each.

The Mentoring Partnership also honoured individual mentors who have made a difference in the lives of 10 or more skilled immigrants and mentees-turned-mentors in the program, including individuals like Pradeep Mathur, who has mentored more than 11 times in just four years.

"For me, being a mentor is a passion but it is also something that I benefit and learn from," Mathur said. "As a mentor I now have a better appreciation of different cultures and have broadened my perspective."

The Mentoring Partnership is a collaboration of employer and community partners, and operates as a program of TRIEC. TRIEC creates and champions solutions to better integrate skilled immigrants in the Greater Toronto Region labour market. Funding for The Mentoring Partnership is provided by the Governments of Canada and Ontario, and Manulife.

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