Putting immigrants to work: But, what about their children?

hireimmigrants.ca is an initiative of TRIEC, the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council. hireimmigrants.ca provides information to employers on how to hire immigrants and why they should.

TRIEC is about “working to remove the barriers immigrants face when entering the labour market, while at the same time helping organizations benefit from the talents and skills immigrants bring with them to Canada”. TRIEC is an initiative of The Maytree Foundation.

In partnership with TRIEC and MediaCorp (who bring us Canada’s Top 100 Employers) comes a new initiative, The Best Employers for New Canadians. What’s the criteria for making it as one of the best employers for new Canadians? “Each employer is evaluated in terms of:

(1) whether they offer programs specifically designed to assist employees who are recent immigrants to Canada;

(2) whether they have taken steps to reduce employment barriers for recent immigrants, such as by recognizing foreign educational credientials and experience;

(3) whether they assist new employees who have foreign professional or educational credentials in getting these qualifications formally recognized in Canada;

(4) whether they offer any “onboarding” programs, such as internal coaching or mentoring, to help new employees who are recent immigrants understand the Canadian workplace; and

(5) whether their managers and employees receive training in cross-cultural issues or inclusiveness to help create a welcoming and productive environment for employees who are recent immigrants”.

Hmmm. I didn’t see any mentions of the availability and accessibility of high quality child care in any of these initiatives. Organizations that purport to help immigrants get and keep jobs would do well to address the issue of child care. Child care is not only an employment support, it also promotes healthy child growth and development and supports families in their child-rearing role. A parent content with their child’s early learning and care arrangement are bound to be happier and more focussed at work. The best employers are on board with child care. Please join in, TRIEC, in adovcating for more and better early learning and child care programs and supports for immigrant families.