TRIEC Mentoring Partnership has recently relaunched with a refreshed model, helping even more immigrant professionals find meaningful employment. Shabnum Budhwani, Senior Manager, Program Delivery, TRIEC Mentoring Partnership, talks about how they updated the program.

TRIEC Mentoring Partnership has been a successful program since its inception in 2004, helping thousands of immigrant professionals reconnect with their careers. Over 75% of immigrant professionals find employment in their field or a related field within twelve months of completing the program. Over the years, more than 50 employers have participated in the program. The program also benefits the “mentors”, who are able to advance their leadership, coaching and cross-cultural communication skills by participating in the program.

With all of these achievements, there was potential to scale the program and help even more immigrant professionals find meaningful employment. In 2014, LEAP: The Pecaut Centre for Social Impact selected TRIEC Mentoring Partnership as a program with high potential to increase its impact. LEAP, along with its sector partners, Boston Consulting Group, McCarthy Tétrault, Hill+Knowlton, Ernst & Young and the Offord Group, and Cossette, began working with TRIEC and provided pro-bono consulting services to help scale the program.

In August 2014, the Boston Consulting Group carried out research into the program and found that for every $1 invested in mentoring, $10.50 is returned to the economy. This tremendous social return on investment fueled the desire to re-envision the model and serve even more newcomer professionals. TRIEC was also able to secure funding from three organizations, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, and the RBC Foundation to support the scaling of the program.

When embarking on this exciting journey, we decided to enhance all the different components that contribute to the success of the program. A brand new IT system, an updated program model, a new website, a refreshed brand, enhanced learning resources, and a redeveloped communication strategy, along with a targeted mentor recruitment strategy were all necessary to help scale the program. The entire TRIEC team rolled up its sleeves and worked together to complete this project. We also conducted several consultations with our partners and stakeholders through advisory groups and focus groups. The program model, including the length and the eligibility criteria, was also revised to allow more immigrant professionals and mentors to participate in the program.

Finally, after a year of tremendous hard work, thought and effort, our enhanced model was ready for launch on August 14th, 2017. To say the project was launched exactly on time speaks volumes for the amount of preparation, planning and coordination that went into this initiative. We are very thankful to all our partners and stakeholders for their enthusiastic support along the way without which this would not have been possible.

We now have a new website to attract more mentors, mentees and partners. The new program model has also been implemented. The next step will be to evaluate the increased efficiencies realized through the program, and assess the larger impact that the program will create. So far, the signs are all positive, and we are receiving excellent feedback on the new IT system.

Through this program, we want to impact even more lives and contribute to creating more immigrant inclusive workplaces in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). When immigrants prosper we all prosper.

At a glance – The new Mentoring Partnership model

Partnership time commitment lessened from four to three months.

Updated eligibility

  • Mentors – earlier, potential mentors needed to have worked in Canada for three years, now changed to two years
  • Mentees – earlier, been in Canada for three years or less, now changed to five years or less