Monthly Archives

March 2011

On the Maytree Blog: “Internships: Low risk, big return”

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Yesterday the Maytree Foundation’s blog, “Maytree Conversations,” posted an article by Shannon Klie, Writer and Content Developer,, ALLIES, entitled “Internships: Low risk, big return,” highlighting innovative programs for bringing qualified international talent to the workplace.

Career Edge Organization’s “Career Bridge” paid internship program was cited as “a novel approach” for businesses to test out potential candidates for fit and expertise.

The Regional Municipality of Halton has addressed this concern by centralizing the cost of internships. Individual departments don’t bear the cost of an intern, providing further incentive for managers to bring in skilled immigrant interns.

Because the Region partners with Career Bridge, managers have access to many pre-screened, professional new immigrants to fill intern spots. That’s a win-win. And, employers are increasingly recognizing the power of internships, according to an analysis of organizations shortlisted to the Best Employers for New Canadians competition in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Click here to read the full article

Practical tips for employers working with immigrants

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Contributed post by Md. Salah Uddin, Workplace Inclusion Specialist for Persons with Disabilities at Career Edge Organization, and Internationally Qualified Professional

salahInternationally qualified professionals need to quickly learn the ins and outs of the Canadian workplace culture within a short period of time if they want to survive and explore their career in Canada. Luckily there are many different resources available here to provide this kind of support.

But inclusion is always a two way process, and there are some important things employers can be aware of to make the process better.

I myself am a newcomer, having recently immigrated to Canada from Bangladesh. Internationally qualified professionals like myself can play an important role in educating employers on how to work with us, so here are a few practical tips:

  • Recognize individuals are complex and unique. Avoid comments (good or bad) rooted in overgeneralizations about race/gender/culture.
  • Learn to pronounce all of the names correctly. People love to hear their names correctly.
  • Do not “under or overprotect”. Like under protection, overprotection is not welcomed by most of the immigrants. Always verify your behaviour with the key question “Am I treating the person with dignity and respect?”
  • Avoid highly idiomatic English. e.g. “once in a blue moon,” “between a rock and a hard place” or “get out of here!” as they may be taken literally!
  • Make your speeches audible and visible together. When you talk, try to put together something in writing or visuals.
  • Use diverse examples rather than ones which assume a particular background or experience.
  • Don’t assume that people who don’t talk don’t know the facts. “Showing off” is taboo in many parts of the world.
  • Avoid any type of humour that denigrates anyone. A surprisingly large number of jokes involve putting down people who are different in some way and who may already feel marginal because of those differences.

That’s all from my side. Hope you’ll continue from where I stop. Let’s learn and teach together!

Career Edge Organization Recognizes Innovative Public, Private and Non-Profit Sector Organizations for Embracing Untapped Canadian Knowledge Workers at the 2010/11 Achievement Awards

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Days after the Oscars in Hollywood, Career Edge Organization (CEO) rolled out its red carpet to honour leading Canadian employers for their innovative approach to recruiting and hiring diverse and highly qualified but often untapped knowledge workers. Their partnerships with CEO have helped them uncover coveted talent to build diverse and inclusive workplaces that reflects Canada’s contemporary society.

Hundreds of senior executives, human resources professionals and former interns of CEO’s paid internship programs gathered at the Toronto Board of Trade last night (Tuesday, March 2) to celebrate the annual CEO Achievement Awards and the organization’s 15 years of success in connecting employers with diverse, qualified talent. At the core of the celebration were compelling human stories of struggle, opportunity and triumph.

At Issue

Canada’s workforce is changing – an aging population, the arrival of skilled immigrants, and a new generation of university and college graduates, commonly known as Gen Y, entering the workforce – pushing Canadian employers to seek new ways to engage appropriate knowledge workers to meet the burgeoning skills shortage.

Leading employers understand that many of their traditional hiring practices no longer enable them to take full advantage of the evolving talent pool. They also know that to ensure business success they need a workforce that represents the diverse markets they serve.

The Solution

Through CEO’s three highly innovative programs – Career Edge for recent college and university graduates, Ability Edge for graduates with disabilities and Career Bridge for internationally qualified professionals – employers can engage a diverse group of trained knowledge workers with different levels of skills and experience through paid internships to meet their short and long term hiring needs.

The results create an optimum situation. The paid internships provide opportunities for employers to engage career-minded candidates to bolster their existing workforces in exchange for the often demanded Canadian experience to help launch the careers of these individuals.

By 2011, more than 1,200 leading Canadian employers have partnered with CEO and provided meaningful work opportunities to over 10,000 paid interns. Many organizations continue to groom these interns after the completion of the program to become future managers of their organizations.

The 2010/11 Achievement Award winners

Career Edge Organization Leadership Award

Bell Canada:

Career Edge Organization Program Awards

Career Edge Program Awards:


    • Large Enterprise: Bell
    • Medium Enterprise: First National Financial LP
    • Small Enterprise: Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters



Ability Edge Program Award:

  • RBC

Career Bridge Program Awards:

  • Private Sector: RBC
  • Public Sector, Large Enterprise: Government of Ontario
  • Public Sector, Small/Medium Enterprise: City of Toronto

Most Valued Internship Experience (MoVIE) Award:

Winner: OPS Internship for Internationally Trained Individuals, Ministry of the Environment, Government of Ontario

Intern and Mentor Awards (and videos!):

  • Mentor of the Year (sponsored by Manulife Financial): Denise Sarazin, Bell Canada

  • Intern of the Year – Career Edge Program (sponsored by TD Bank Financial Group): Ikram Ataullah, BMO Financial Group

  • Intern of the Year – Ability Edge Program (sponsored by Scotiabank): Fenella Chiu, Loblaw Companies Limited

    • Intern of the Year – Career Bridge Program (sponsored by RBC): Beatrice Reitano, Ministry of Community and Social Services, Government of Ontario

For a complete list of finalists, photos, videos and additional information about the Career Edge Organization Achievement Awards, visit

Career Edge Organization would like to extend a HUGE thank you to our sponsors, vendors, host employers, alumni, interns, partner organizations, board members, staff and everyone who attended last night’s event. It was a spectacular event, all thanks to you.

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