Earlier this week, our President and CEO at Career Edge Organization, Anne Lamont attended the Toronto Forum for Global Cities, put on by the International Economic Forum of the Americas, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
This year’s theme was “restoring growth in a post bail-out era” and the speakers included CEOs and representatives from the White House, OECD, Deloitte & Touche, Toronto Hydro Corporation, World Bank Group, IBM, TD, GE Canada and Scotia Bank. On a side note, it was great to see that several of our Host Organizations were represented there.
On Monday, the OECD issued its Territorial Review of Toronto which essentially identifies what we are doing right and what we can be doing better on economic development issues such as energy, infrastructure, finance and innovation, to name a few.
First, the good news – the Report cites Toronto as one of the most diverse cities in the OECD, and the most culturally diverse urban centre in Canada, with half of the population being foreign born.
However the reality is that we (Toronto employers) could do a much better job of tapping into this valuable resource.
One of the key policy issues identified is “the under-utilization of immigrants and cultural diversity” and not surprisingly, “bridging education programmes and internships” were cited as clear solutions to “address obstacles to the recognition and appreciation of foreign skills, which are an asset for the knowledge economy.”
We are pleased to see that the OECD mentioned us as a successful “bridge to work” program, in reference to our Career Bridge program for Internationally Qualified Professionals (for those of you who have the report, you can find us on page 115). The Report goes on to say that now that the approach has been tested, bridging and internship programs could be used more widely.