On March 28, 2023, TRIEC hosted its Annual Inclusion Summit – Employers Speak: Immigration and the Labour Market. The event convened employers, immigrant-service providers, government, and immigrant professionals, both in-person, at the Toronto Reference Library, and virtually, via Zoom.

As part of its immigration plan to grow the economy, the federal government has set ambitious 3-year targets in its new levels plan for immigration over the period from 2023-2025. At this event, we explored what employers are doing and can do to source newcomer talent to address their talent needs, and what supports would be needed from government, immigrant serving organizations and other stakeholders to achieve their objectives.

Dr. Juan Marsiaj, Director, Diversity Institute, Ted Rogers School of Management, sharing his insights on labour market shortages and newcomer employment outcomes in Canada.

Dr. Juan Marsiaj, Director, Diversity Institute, Ted Rogers School of Management, delivered the keynote address in which he shared data on labour shortages and unemployment rates across racialized immigrants. He called attention to the fact that unrecognized education and skills in Canada cost the economy approximately $13-17 billion in lost earnings. He also shared some useful programs for newcomers in finding meaningful employment. At the end, he emphasised the need for deeper collaboration among all stakeholders in the sector, because “we are all better together.”

Following on from Dr. Marsiaj’s presentation, there was an interactive panel discussion on Leveraging Immigrant Talent to their full potential. Moderated by Gerard Keledjian, Managing Director, New Canadians Media Inc., the panel featured Alyson McQueen-Hickerson, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Dentsu Canada, Gautam Mohorikar, Director, Data, Acquisition & Enablement, Newcomer & Cultural Client Segment, RBC, and Tara Tokatly, Vice President, Solution Engineering, Salesforce.

The panelists at the TRIEC Inclusion Summit (from left to right) – Tara Tokatly, Gautam Mohorikar, Alyson McQueen-Hickerson, and moderator Gerard Keledjian.

The panelists shared information on what their organizations are doing to attract immigrant talent, their experience working with immigrant serving organizations, and provided advice on how newcomers can position themselves to stand out in the job market. The panelists emphasised the importance of retaining talent in organizations, by creating more inclusive workplaces and providing opportunities for career growth. They also talked about the importance of mentoring in helping immigrants understand the labour market and become better prepared in their job search.

The event was a huge success and highlighted how a collaborative approach between different sectors can lead to successful outcomes for all stakeholders, including immigrant professionals. As the number of immigrants coming to Canada continues to grow, it’s imperative for all of us to work together to create solutions and pathways for them to succeed and contribute to their full potential, because when immigrants prosper, our country prospers.

For more information about this event, or to learn more about TRIEC’s work, please email Rohit Singh at rsingh@triec.ca.