More than 20 firm members are participating in the skilled immigrant mentoring program

Laurie Blake

Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (FMC), one of Canada’s leading business and litigation law firms, is proud to announce that it has become the first law firm to be recognized as a corporate partner of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC)’s Mentoring Partnership program. More than 20 FMC members are currently participating in the program, which pairs skilled immigrants with established Canadian professionals in a mentoring relationship designed to break down the barriers immigrants face when trying to enter the Canadian labour market.

FMC’s participation in the Mentoring Partnership builds on the firm’s diversity initiatives, formalized in 2006 to ensure that FMC’s national workforce truly represents the rich diversity of the local communities in which FMC practices.

“Diversity and inclusiveness are a central part of our overall strategy and business plan,” says Michael Schafler, partner, FMC Toronto. “Consequently, when we first introduced TRIEC’s mentoring program for skilled immigrants to our team members, they were quick to embrace the program and sign up as mentors. In fact, many people within our firm are immigrants themselves, so it was only natural that they responded so positively. We look forward to working with the Mentoring Partnership and its more than 50 high-profile corporate partners to promote diversity and advance the hiring of skilled immigrants.”

Under the auspices of the firm’s national Diversity Committee, FMC sponsors a wide range of programs and initiatives across Canada including the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) national scholarship for black law students; Pro Pride at Work Canada; Vault Women’s Initiative; a bi-monthly Diversity Roundtable comprised of representatives from financial institutions, major corporations, government and professional services firms; and participation in a variety of associations dedicated to the promotion of the legal profession in a range of ethnic communities.

“TRIEC is excited to have Fraser Milner Casgrain as the first law firm to join the Mentoring Partnership as a corporate partner,” said Elizabeth McIsaac, Executive Director of TRIEC. “Its commitment to the partnership shows leadership and an understanding of the benefits immigrants bring to the Toronto Region. By leveraging their skills, education and knowledge, we can create new opportunities for our local economy, businesses and community.”

TRIEC’s Mentoring Partnership provides new immigrants in the City of Toronto and the regions of Halton, Peel and York with occupation-specific mentoring. Participants entering the program possess the education, experience and language skills needed to excel in the workforce – all they need are the connections and knowledge that can only be gained from real-life experience. Since 2004, the program has recruited more than 2,000 mentors and matched more than 3,700 skilled immigrants in Mentoring Partnership relationships with established professionals who share the same occupation. Of those who completed the four-month program, nearly 80 per cent found full-time employment – 85 per cent of those in their field of expertise.

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Reference: Workplace Magazine