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FAQs

About TRIEC

Why does the Toronto Region need an immigrant employment council?
How is TRIEC funded?
How has TRIEC’s work benefited skilled immigrants and employers in the Toronto Region?
How has TRIEC worked with government to effectively bring skilled immigrants into the labour market?
What is being done by TRIEC, the government or other organizations to help skilled immigrants in regulated professions move through the licensing process more quickly?
Where can I find more information about what regulatory bodies are doing on immigrant employment?
Is TRIEC’s work only focused on the Toronto Region?
Are there other immigrant employment initiatives across Canada that are similar to TRIEC? 
How does TRIEC define a skilled immigrant? 

About immigrant employment

What obstacles to employment do skilled immigrants face?
How do immigrants fare in the labour market compared to Canadian-born?
Do immigrants take jobs away from Canadians?
Why do immigrants need help to get a job? Isn’t that preferential treatment?
How many immigrants settle in the Toronto Region?
What percentage of the population is made up of immigrants in parts of the Census Metropolitan Area?
Why is immigration so important to the Toronto Region?
What skills do immigrants bring?
Why aren’t some employers hiring skilled immigrants?

Research and resources

Where can I find research and statistics about immigrant employment in the Toronto Region and Canada?
Where can I learn more about organizations that have successfully integrated skilled immigrants into their workforce?

Help for skilled immigrants and employers

Does TRIEC provide job search support to skilled immigrants?
As a skilled immigrant, where can I find help to find suitable employment in the Toronto Region?
As a skilled immigrant, how can I participate in TRIEC’s programs?
As an employer with hiring needs, where can I find job-ready skilled immigrants?

About TRIEC

Why does the Toronto Region need an immigrant employment council?

Research and experience have shown that the barriers making labour market access difficult for immigrants are systemic in nature. They require systems-based solutions and coordinated approaches. TRIEC convenes employers, immigrants, labour, educational institutions, community organizations, occupational regulatory bodies, professional associations and all levels of government to work on solutions together.
For more information visit:


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How is TRIEC funded?

TRIEC is generously funded by the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and Maytree. Current corporate sponsors include Manulife Financial, RBC, Scotiabank and Steam Whistle.

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How has TRIEC’s work benefited skilled immigrants and employers in the Toronto Region?

TRIEC has helped skilled immigrants more effectively integrate into the labour market by developing new programs, new partnerships and new ways of working with key stakeholders. Through TRIEC’s work, skilled immigrants have greater opportunities to use their skills, knowledge and education, thus contributing to a more vibrant regional economy.

Highlights:

  • TRIEC has matched more than 9,000 skilled immigrants in Mentoring Partnership relationships with established professionals who share the same occupation.
  • TRIEC has worked with hundreds of employers across the Toronto Region to connect them to skilled immigrant talent. 400 employers have been supported through HR workshops designed to increase their ability to recruit and retain skilled immigrants.
  • TRIEC has brought 47 professional immigrant associations into a community to build their capacity to help their members achieve their employment goals.
  • TRIEC’s reached tens of thousands of people through public awareness work, helping to change perceptions on immigrant employment.

For more information visit:

TRIEC Annual Reports

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How has TRIEC worked with government to better integrate skilled immigrants into the labour market?

TRIEC’s Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) Committee consists of representatives from all departments and ministries in all three orders of government that have an interest in immigrant employment. The committee meets regularly and looks at opportunities for collaboration and new mechanisms for funding and policy making. For more on our work with IGR and a list of our members, click here.

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What is being done by TRIEC, the government or other organizations to help skilled immigrants in regulated professions move through the licensing process more quickly?

TRIEC has focused much of its efforts on non-regulated professions. Regulated occupations make up only about 15 per cent of Canada’s labour market. Eighty-five per cent of the time, the general educational qualifications of immigrant candidates are evaluated directly by the thousands of employers responsible for hiring professionals and skilled workers in the unregulated occupations, such as IT, marketing, sales, human resources and business. 

However, TRIEC does maintain relationships with the various provincial regulatory bodies. TRIEC also consults with the provincial government on its work with regulatory bodies.

The Ontario government has introduced a number of measures to address immigrant employment within the regulated professions, including:

  • Appointing Ontario’s first-ever Fairness Commissioner (OFC) to ensure regulatory bodies evaluate international credentials fairly and transparently. The OFC has published entry-to-practice reviews that inform applicants on all aspects of the costs of the registration process; the timeliness of the assessment and decision-making process; and, when applicable, requirements for practical training and/or work experience. As of 2011, the OFC assesses the regulators’ licensing practices by identifying necessary, practical and achievable changes. The purpose is to create a culture of change and to promote continuous improvement.
  • Creating Global Experience Ontario, a one-stop information and resource centre helping people navigate complex systems when entering regulated professions in Canada.
  • Funding bridging programs that focus on skilled immigrants.

Many occupational regulatory bodies, voluntary professional associations and educational institutions offer initiatives to help skilled immigrants enter the labour market. Bridging programs for internationally trained accountants, engineers, nurses, massage therapists, midwives, pharmacists, physicians, teachers and other professionals help skilled immigrants gain Canadian work experience, further their education, enhance their language skills and receive support throughout the licensing process. There are 34 regulated professions in Ontario.

For more information, visit:

Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
Ontario Regulators for Access
Office of the Fairness Commissioner

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Where can I find more information about what regulatory bodies are doing on immigrant employment?

Ontario Regulators for Access
Office of the Fairness Commissioner

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Is TRIEC’s work only focused on the Toronto Region?

TRIEC’s goal is to assemble key players in the Toronto Region to find and implement local, practical solutions that lead to meaningful employment for skilled immigrants. Local solutions are important as each region has differing complexities and needs.

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Are there immigrant employment initiatives across Canada that are similar to TRIEC?

TRIEC works with ALLIES (Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrant Employment Strategies), a program of Maytree and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation that helps communities across Canada build their own local solutions, some based on the learnings of TRIEC.

ALLIES is helping to create a national movement of locally engaged communities that are providing successful employment solutions for skilled immigrants. The project funds and supports communities in their efforts to adapt and implement successful approaches used by TRIEC and others.

ALLIES provides start-up, partnership and innovation grants to qualifying communities. ALLIES also supports the work of these communities by establishing a national hub for learning, discussion and information exchange. There are currently 12 immigrant employment councils established and active across Canada. Nine of them host mentoring programs including in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Niagara, Montreal, Toronto and Halifax.

Learn more about ALLIES.

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How does TRIEC define a skilled immigrant?

TRIEC defines skilled immigrants as individuals who have immigrated to Canada with international post-secondary education, professional credentials and/or work experience.

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About immigrant employment

What obstacles to employment do skilled immigrants face?

Skilled immigrants may face the following barriers when trying to enter the labour market:

  • Difficulty obtaining Canadian work experience;
  • Employers not able to recognize international education, training and experience;
  • Insufficient information about employment opportunities and requirements;
  • Lack of professional networks;
  • Lack of occupation-specific terminology in English or French; and
  • Lack of targeted training programs to bridge gaps in qualifications.

For more information visit:

Research + Policy

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How do skilled immigrants fare in the labour market compared to Canadian-born individuals?

Studies have shown that education achieved abroad is discounted by the Canadian labour market by a factor of 30 per cent, and that work experience achieved abroad is discounted by a factor of 70 per cent. The average unemployment rate for all university-educated immigrants is double the unemployment rate for their Canadian-born counterparts even though both groups have similar labour force participation rates. University graduates born in Pakistan and Iran report the lowest annual earnings and highest unemployment rates of all immigrants with university degrees. [University Educated Immigrants: What are the labour market outcomes of university educated immigrants? (TIEDI Analytical Report 8: March 2010)]

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Do immigrants take jobs away from Canadians?

No, immigrants do not take jobs away from Canadians. With an aging population and low fertility rates, the Toronto Region cannot rely on our training systems to produce the numbers of skilled workers needed for the labour force. Even with a fluctuating unemployment rate, the Toronto Region needs the high levels of education and professional experience of skilled immigrants to effectively compete in a knowledge economy. Employers often tell us that they continuously experience labour shortages and that it can take months to fill a role.

For more information visit:

Research + Policy

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Why do immigrants need help to get a job? Isn’t that preferential treatment?

No it isn’t preferential treatment to help skilled immigrant find jobs. Skilled immigrants face particular obstacles to finding employment that most Canadian-trained persons do not. Prospective employers may not want to hire someone who has an unfamiliar degree from an international university, who lacks experience in Canadian workplaces, or whose technical language skills need upgrading so as to understand local terms. Giving employers reliable information about equivalent academic degrees, while giving skilled immigrants a chance to obtain Canadian experience and upgrade their skills are ways to remove obstacles so our economy can benefit from the skills that immigrants bring.

Targeted solutions, policies and programs that address the barriers faced by particular groups are effective, and there are examples of such programs for youth, older workers, Aboriginals and others. These programs do not compete with one another, but rather provide targeted solutions to various challenges faced by Torontonians, both new and old.

To learn about how TRIEC is working with skilled immigrants and employers, please visit:

Find Solutions

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How many immigrants settle in the Toronto Region?

The Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) is Canada’s largest immigrant receiving centre. The Toronto CMA includes all of Toronto, Peel and York Census Division and parts of Durham and Halton. Below are the number of immigrants who arrived in the CMA over the last several years:

  • 2005: 112,831
  • 2006: 99,289
  • 2007: 87,138
  • 2008: 86, 900
  • 2009: 82,644
  • 2010: 92,183
  • 2011: 77,739
  • 2012: 77,466

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What percentage of the population is made up of immigrants in parts of the Census Metropolitan Area?

In the City of Toronto, immigrants already make up 50 per cent of the population. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, the most common countries of birth of immigrants living in Toronto were China (10.6% of the immigrant population in Toronto) and the Philippines (8.2%). Top source countries include the Philippines, India, China, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Other immigrant populations come from Europe, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.

Large numbers of immigrants are settling in other local municipalities within the Toronto Region, for example:

  • In Markham, 57.9 per cent of the population is born outside of Canada
  • In Mississauga, 52.9 per cent of the population is born outside of Canada
  • In Brampton, 50.6 per cent of the population is born outside of Canada 

For more information visit:

Research + Policy
Statistics Canada

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Why is immigration so important to the Toronto Region?

  • The Toronto Region is growing, and as baby boomers retire and the birth rate declines, labour market growth depends on skilled immigrants. Canada cannot count on our training systems to produce the numbers of skilled workers needed for the labour force.
  • By 2021, Statistics Canada expects almost one in four workers will be aged 55 or older. By 2031, one in three workers will be born outside of Canada.
  • Many immigrants are highly skilled and therefore a valuable asset to Toronto Region employers.
  • Many skilled immigrants also bring diversity and entrepreneurial capacity, contributing to the region’s competitive advantage.

For more information visit:

Reports and Research: Business Case

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What skills do immigrants bring?

Immigrants bring a wide range of skills, education and experience. 

  • Of the recent immigrants – those who immigrated between 2001 and 2006 – 349,800, or 51 per cent, had a university degree. http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/as-sa/97-560/p13-eng.cfm
  • Although 23 per cent of Canadians aged between 25 and 64 were born outside Canada, they accounted for nearly one-half (49 per cent) of the doctorate holders in Canada and for 40 per cent of adults with a master’s degree. http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/as-sa/97-560/p13-eng.cfm
  • Skilled immigrants also contribute a breadth of international work experience. With familiarity about how business is conducted in international markets and knowledge of other languages, skilled immigrants are an asset to businesses looking to grow overseas.
  • Here in the Toronto Region, skilled immigrants can help employers tap into growing ethnic markets and new ways of doing business.

For more information visit:

Reports and Research
Stories of employers that benefit from the immigrant advantage

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Why aren’t some employers hiring skilled immigrants?

Employers may not be including skilled immigrants for a variety of reasons:

  • Lack of familiarity with international credentials and experience
  • Preference or requirement of Canadian work experience
  • Concerns about language and communications skills
  • Awareness of and access to skilled immigrant talent pools and local immigrant communities

For more information on how employers can address these challenges, access useful resources and seize opportunities to bring skilled immigrants into the workforce, visit www.trieccampus.ca and www.hireimmigrants.ca.

For further information, visit:

Reports and Research: Labour Market Outcomes

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Research and Resources

Where can I find research and statistics about immigrant employment in the Toronto Region and Canada?

Research + Policy

TIEDI
Stats Can

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Where can I learn more about organizations that have successfully integrated skilled immigrants into their workforce?

hireimmigrants.ca
IS Awards
Canada’s Top 100 – Best Employers for New Canadians

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Help for skilled immigrants and employers

Does TRIEC provide job search support to skilled immigrants?

No, TRIEC does not provide job search support directly to skilled immigrants. In the Toronto Region there is a well-developed and effective network of immigrant-serving community agencies providing job search support to newcomers. TRIEC partners with community agencies and corporate partners to connect immigrants to meaningful employment. TRIEC also works with a group of community partners to deliver The Mentoring Partnership program. TRIEC, through the Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs) initiative, also works collaboratively with professional immigrant networks to increase their capacity, so they can better  connect their skilled immigrant members to meaningful employment. Immigrant job seekers can also check out Career Edge Organization’s Career Bridge program for more information on paid internships in their field.

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As a skilled immigrant, where can I get help to find suitable employment in the Toronto Region?

Many resources can be found through immigrant serving community agencies in the Toronto Region. A complete list of these organizations can be found on settlement.org. In the City of Toronto, skilled immigrants should contact CASIP, an umbrella organization in the City of Toronto that includes eight community agencies. These agencies can also screen immigrants for entry into The Mentoring Partnership.

Immigrants in one of the regulated professions should contact their professional association or regulatory body for more specific information. You may also wish to learn more about TRIEC’s partners such as Career Edge Organization, which offers paid internships to skilled immigrants through their Career Bridge program.

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As a skilled immigrant, how can I participate in TRIEC’s programs?

You can contact your local immigrant serving community agency to find out about participating in The Mentoring Partnership program. Potential mentees can also visit www.thementoringpartnership.com and click on ‘mentees’. You can also check out our Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs) initiative.

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As an employer with hiring needs, where can I find job-ready skilled immigrants?

Contact TRIEC to outline your hiring needs, so we can connect you to the most relevant solution.

250 Dundas St West, Suite 603
Toronto, ON M5T 2Z5
Tel 416-944-1946 x 358

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As an employer, how can I get involved with TRIEC’s programs?

There are over 50 employers currently working with TRIEC. Call us today to learn how your organization can get involved.

250 Dundas St West, Suite 603
Toronto, ON M5T 2Z5
Tel 416-944-1946 x 358

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