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Sydney Helland

Career Bridge honoured at the 6th Annual TRIEC Immigrant Success Awards

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Since the launch of the Career Bridge paid internship program in 2003, over 1,700 skilled immigrants have gained valuable Canadian work experience consistent with their professional experience and education, with over 80% of interns landing full-time employment in their field post-internship.

At this evening’s Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC)’s 6th Annual Immigrant Success (IS) Awards, we are absolutely delighted to have the Career Bridge program recognized as the winner of the CBC Toronto Vision Award for Immigrant Inclusion. This award recognizes a unique initiative that breaks down employment barriers for skilled immigrants and has the potential to affect change beyond one organization, while also having a wider impact because of partnerships.

While we are very proud to be the recipient of this award, we certainly recognize that this could only have been achieved with the support of our many partners – host employers, community agencies and educational institutions – and senior business leader champions.  We have also attributed the success of Career Bridge to the quality of talent and the supportive onboarding that is an integral element of our successful internship model.

One employer highlighted in the TRIEC IS Award video, the City of Toronto, has hired over 80 interns since 2003 as part of its HR strategy to reflect the diversity of Toronto’s communities. Through Career Bridge and related strategies, the City of Toronto is actively embedding best practices on the hiring and integration of skilled immigrants. Career Bridge is now active in 14 divisions at the City, all of whom keep returning to the program because of the quality of the talent it brings them.

Furthermore, Career Bridge has recently partnered with the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP), a project that facilitates skilled immigrants’ transition to Canada by starting the process before they arrive. Career Bridge supports and accelerates CIIP’s efforts by virtually pre-screening their clients who are job-ready and Career Bridge-eligible. Through this relationship Career Bridge is able to tap into the CIIP client base to identify talent consistent with our host employers’ needs. Career Bridge has the capacity for national reach as a result of the partnership with CIIP and its community focal point partners. A number of CIIP clients have registered with Career Bridge and have found internships shortly after arriving in Canada.

Looking forward, we hope that more employers recognize and use the Career Bridge paid internship program as an effective hiring and retention strategy for qualified, global talent. With the continued and growing support of employers, Career Bridge will remain a sustainable and optimum path to permanent employment for internationally qualified newcomers.

CEO to present at Workforce One-Stop 2012

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At the end of this month, Donna Smith, Vice President of Career Edge Organization, will be leading a workshop at The Conference Board of Canada’s Workforce One-Stop 2012 conference, a rebranding of previous conferences focusing on workforce training and career development (most notably, the National Consultation on Career Development and Workforce Learning, aka NATCON).

At last year’s NATCON conference, we presented our second instalment of employer-targeted Gen Y research. Our myth-busting presentation identified what workplace culture actually means to Gen Y, the impact it has on grads’ career planning, and the kinds of research they do to seek and select their employers of choice.

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Congratulations to Canada’s Best Employers for New Canadians!

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Yesterday, Canada’s Top 100 Employers announced the 2012 winners of the Best Employers for New Canadians competition in a special editorial feature in the Globe and Mail. This competition recognizes the employers with the best initiatives and programs that support newcomers entering the Canadian workforce. In part of this recognition, we were very pleased to see that 30% of the winners listed were selected partly due to their participation in the Career Bridge paid internship program.

Career Edge Organization (CEO) would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and commend these Canadian employers who have provided leadership in recognizing and valuing the skills, credentials, and global perspectives that internationally qualified professionals bring to the workplace.

We would also like to offer special thanks and congratulations to the employers that have either expressed an interest in connecting with CEO to fulfill talent strategies for internationally qualified professionals, or have formally partnered with the Career Bridge program to support the onboarding of new Canadians through paid internships, while maintaining a strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming corporate culture:

BMO Financial Group
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
Deloitte & Touche LLP
Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
Loblaw Companies Ltd.
Mississauga, City of
Mount Sinai Hospital
Ontario Public Service
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
St. Michael’s Hospital
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)
Telus Corp.
Xerox Canada Inc.
York, Regional Municipality of

Mentoring & Managing Multi-Generations: 5 tips for employers

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Last month, our own VP, Donna Smith, was joined by Lauren Friese, Founder of, and Mandy Sutherland, Senior Consultant, Applied Research and Consulting at Steelcase to share insights and best practices around leveraging the strengths of multiple generations in the workplace.

The “Mentoring & Managing Multi-Generations” workshop took place at the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO)’s 55th Annual Conference and Showcase where members and other engaged professionals gathered to exchange information and learn from informative and forward-thinking presentations that are transferable to their respective communities and workplaces.

During her segment of the workshop, Donna offered five tips to employers looking to develop collaborative, complementary, and sustainable multi-generational workplaces:

  1. Find the “lost” generation: Gen X is often overlooked as a result of being sandwiched between the persistent presence of Baby Boomers and the impatient motivations of Gen Y. Leverage the knowledge and experience of Gen X workers by encouraging them to coach Gen Y workers. It’s a win-win situation: Gen Y get the support and guidance they need to develop professionally, while Gen X gain leadership and mentoring skills.
  2. Establish semi-formal task forces: Bridge generational gaps and impart knowledge by encouraging ongoing networking and professional development opportunities.
  3. Compensation packages based on generational priorities: Opt for flexible compensation/benefit packages that suit the needs of each generation. For example, Gen Y look for dental coverage for themselves, whereas Gen X prefer flex hours or child care for their kids, and Baby Boomers appreciate elder care for their parents.
  4. Understand what drives your employees and meet those needs both individually and as a group: Celebrate the different approaches of each generation, while staying focused on company objectives and project goals.
  5. Manage demographics – don’t just play to the biggest audience: Encourage projects that involve employees from different demographics. This goes beyond generational diversity; recognizing and celebrating differences in culture, gender, and ability all play into a healthy and productive workplace.

Addressing the needs of multiple generations

Furthermore, Donna suggests that the key to successfully implementing all of the above tips is having a clear and mutual understanding of how each generation – and their inherent diversity of culture, gender, and abilities – contribute to the overall business strategies and organizational fit.

We want to know what you’re doing to leverage the potential of each generation in the workplace! Share your tips with us by leaving a comment!