VANCOUVER—The Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC) has been awarded $1.4 million from the Employer Innovation Fund (EIF) for 11 innovative projects to assist employers, industry and business associations in developing initiatives and resources to integrate skilled immigrants into BC workplaces.
Funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of BC through the Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement, the Employer Innovation Fund was announced at the 2012 Leaders’ Summit on Immigrant Employment last fall.
EIF projects, which are employer-led, employer-driven and address employer needs to effectively attract, hire and retain skilled immigrants in BC workplaces, were funded in all regions of the province and in six key industry sectors to employers, sector organizations and business associations. Funded projects include the creation of resources to assist employers in assessing foreign qualifications, an onboarding program that helps employers integrate skilled immigrants into the workplace and outreach campaigns to recruit and retain skilled new immigrants to a community and industry.
With more than one million job openings in the next decade due to an aging workforce and economic growth, skilled immigrant talent will be necessary to address the labour skills shortage and demand for skilled workers in BC.
Priority was given to projects that impact more than just one employer, show the potential for sustainability post-project, focus on hiring and retaining immigrants who are permanent residents of BC, and demonstrate a direct benefit to small and medium-size businesses.