The 18th Week

If You Need a Mentor for Your Job Search

What a mentoring program is
During your preparation for the job market, you always have questions that might be answered only by people already living in Canada who work in your field and have a desire to help you. How do you find these people?
The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council ( proposed and carried out this new program for employment assistance of immigrants. TRIEC invited a number of public organizations of the city to form The Mentoring Partnership (an alliance of the public organizations of Toronto, Peel Region and York Region), whose goal is to accept applications from immigrants to participate in this program and to select mentors who agree to provide specific assistance in finding employment. During the existence of this program, more than a thousand mentors have helped immigrants and half of those immigrants have already found work in their occupation.

Who can participate in it
In order to participate in this program, you must have permanent resident status, have lived in Canada less than three years, be eligible to work in Canada, have finished college or university abroad and received a diploma that is recognized in Canada as equivalent of the Bachelor's Degree. In addition, you should have worked abroad in your occupation for at least three years. Also among the requirements is your level of English language, which must not be less than CLB 6. Finally, you must be currently unemployed and be ready to begin work immediately on any full day.

Make a note. To participate in the mentoring program in Ontario, you need to register at one of the following organizations:
•In Toronto - JobStart (
•In Peel Region - Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre (
•In York Region - COSTI (

After applying for this program, the program coordinator will determine whether you can be part of the program and whether you meet all the criteria. If you are found eligible, you must pass a special training course where you will learn about your rights and responsibilities and the rules of passing the mentoring program.

Who can be a mentor
A mentor who meets certain criteria will be chosen for you. This person will be a Canadian specialist with relevant education and not less than three years' experience in the area corresponding to your occupation. He/she will advise you how to develop an effective strategy for employment in your occupation and will help you with advice during the job search. All mentors receive special training that includes learning the rules of cooperation with immigrants.
Immigrants can also become mentors. To participate in this program as a mentor you must submit an application and fill in the form.

Help that a mentor can give to find a job
During your meeting with a mentor, the program coordinator who is conducting the meeting will discuss with you a number of questions regarding your competence.
This might include such topics as:
•Information about the job market in your occupation.
•The demand for your profession.
•A search of employers located in your area, including professionals in your occupation.
•Professional terminology.
•Rules of behavior in the workplace.
•Knowledge required in Canada to work in your occupation.
•The procedure for obtaining a license.
•Existing training programs.
•Establishment of business relations and other issues related to work.

How long the mentoring program lasts
The approximate duration of mentoring programs is four months, six hours each month. You negotiate the place and day of meetings with your mentor. You will be able to communicate in person, by phone or via e-mail.
The coordinator will inform you of the starting and ending dates of your participation in this program. Every year in Toronto, up to 1000 people pass the mentoring program. This program is a great way to speed up your training to enter the Canadian job market.