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Ontario Public Service – leading by example

By July 16, 2010August 6th, 2019Uncategorized

By guest contributor, Paula Calderon, Client Relations Manager/Applicant Screener

There is often a misconception that Career Edge Organization is a government funded agency that places people in internships.  This may not be surprising given the successful partnership between the Ontario Government and Career Edge Organization and the number of Career Bridge interns who have been placed in the Ontario Public Service Internship Program for Internationally Trained Individuals and the presence of the Career Bridge logo and links on the government’s public websites.

ops1Career Edge Organization is in fact a national, private, self-sustaining not for profit organization that connects qualified talent and Canadian employers. A large number of employers from the private, public and non-profit sectors have accessed qualified talent through Career Edge Organization’s three paid internship programs.

So, how do the Government of Ontario and Career Edge Organization partner to implement the Career Bridge program across the Ontario Public Service?

The Ontario Public Service Internship Program for Internationally Trained Individuals (OPS ITI Program) is an innovative internship program specifically for professional newcomers to Canada, so that they can earn valuable Canadian work experience in their related career fields within the Ontario Public Service (OPS).

Through this important bridging program, the Ontario government is fulfilling its commitment to helping ITIs integrate into the Ontario labour market, enabling them to contribute to the provincial economy.

Since 2006, Career Edge Organization through its Career Bridge program has supported the implementation of the OPS ITI Program. As a Host Organization for Career Bridge interns, the Ontario Government has to date placed over 400 internationally qualified individuals in the OPS ITI Program across Ontario. YNPS, HR Ontario currently administers the program across the OPS in various ministries and regions in the province.  OPS managers have access to a pool of pre-screened, qualified Career Bridge registrants to select candidates for the internship program. Under the program, Career Edge Organization administers the interns’ payroll during the internship period.

The OPS ITI Program’s goals and objectives are to:

  • Promote OPS as an employer of first choice by providing newcomers with the skills, knowledge and coaching/mentorship that will assist them in securing employment in their field.
  • Support the Government of Ontario’s commitment to maximize bridging programs by providing a coordinated enterprise-wide approach to increasing access to Canadian work experience for newcomers in Ontario.
  • Contribute to a welcoming community/work environment that promotes diversity.
  • Help OPS to gain an increased understanding of settlement issues and barriers faced by newcomers to Ontario.
  • To be an inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible organization.

And from my perspective, most importantly…

  • To demonstrate government leadership in the recognition and support of internationally trained individuals in labour market integration by providing short-term work experience in the OPS.

Not only is OPS demonstrating leadership, but it is also proving first-hand that the Career Bridge Program provides an excellent opportunity for Internationally Qualified Professionals to demonstrate their value and skills while gaining meaningful work experience, which they can leverage to full time employment in their field. It is clear that an internship can be the perfect bridge to employment.

In the last three years, surveys have shown that over 75% of Career Bridge interns within the OPS ITI Program have secured employment in their field within six months of completing their internship.

This success should be a call to action for the entire business community to follow the Government of Ontario’s example of utilizing this valuable resource to fulfill their recruitment needs, as they help grow and sustain our economy.