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New Initiative Aims to Open Canadian Tech Jobs to Skilled Refugees

By 14 February 2017 No Comments

NEWS RELEASE 


OTTAWA, Ontario, February 14, 2017 – The Information and Communications Technology Council of Canada (ICTC) has partnered with Talent Beyond Boundaries, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, to fill in-demand roles in the IT sector throughout Canada with skilled refugees as part of a new Unlocking Global Talent Initiative. ICTC is a leader in developing workforce solutions, enabling Canadian businesses to access the right talent with the right skills needed to drive innovation and productivity in an increasingly competitive environment.

“Many refugees come to Canada with years of experience in skilled trades and professions. Their experience can benefit not only the technology and other industries and the economy, but also set the stage for successful integration into their new life in Canada,” said the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “We will continue to develop new partnerships and support innovative approaches to ensure all newcomers, including refugees, are able to easily access the Canadian labour market and receive integration support.”

When ICTC hosts its 3rd annual Online Career Fair on Feb. 23, international refugees will be among the participants for the first time. This is a first step in a larger partnership to find roles for skilled refugees in Canada’s tech sector.

The initial group of refugees that ICTC and Talent Beyond Boundaries are looking to place in Canadian employment includes computer programmers. interactive media developers, computer network technicians, and web developers.

“Attracting and retaining global talent is critical to Canada’s digital future. In order to ensure Canada is able to meet the demand of future ICT labour needs, we must consider all labour market sources including domestic and international. Our programs provide unique and targeted solutions for recruiting, retaining and integrating women, Indigenous persons, youth and internationally educated professionals into ICT workforce.” says Sandra Saric, VP of Talent Innovation at ICTC. “Refugees should absolutely be a part of that talent pipeline.”

“Millions of refugees, including many who are skilled professionals, find themselves prohibited from working legally in their countries of first asylum,” says Gary Slaiman, Corporate Outreach Advisor for Talent Beyond Boundaries. “Through this partnership and others that we hope will soon follow, we are trying to overcome the barriers that typically keep refugees ‘hidden’ when it comes to international hiring.”

The partnership between ICTC and Talent Beyond Boundaries is the first of its kind. ICTC is a not-for-profit national centre of expertise for the digital economy fostering innovative and globally competitive Canadian industries empowered by a talented and diverse digital workforce. Talent Beyond Boundaries identifies skilled refugees who may be eligible for international private-sector employment.

“We are thrilled that ICTC has joined with us to create this win-win for Canadian tech companies,” Slaiman said. “The companies can fill their unmet needs for skilled and talented employees while also taking a small step to help ease a humanitarian crisis.”

The number of refugees worldwide is at an all-time high. Last year, Talent Beyond Boundaries launched an online “Talent Catalog” to collect information about the education level, work experience, language abilities, and skills of refugees living in Jordan and Lebanon. To date, more than 6,000 individuals in over 100 professions have registered.

The nonprofit is taking a unique approach to helping refugees by pioneering labor mobility – essentially looking beyond borders for employment – as a way for refugees to regain self-reliance.

Talent Beyond Boundaries’ work with ICTC is one of several corporate partnerships that are part of a pilot project by the nonprofit. Other corporate partners include the Construction Foundation of British Columbia, and Cameron Edge, an Australian IT solutions company. The pilot project is being done in cooperation with the UN Refugee Agency and with support from the U.S. State Department. For more information, see www.talentbeyondboundaries.org.

 

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Press Contact:
Sayre Nyce, Executive Director, Talent Beyond Boundaries
snyce@talentbeyondboundaries.org
+1-202-599-3200

Stephanie Wilson, Director of Strategic Outreach, Information and Communications Technology Council
s.wilson@ictc-ctic.ca
+1-613-237-8551 x. 147