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Immigrants Employment Councils (IECs) are organizations that complement existing immigrant employment programs and services that are most commonly focused on employer solutions.
IECs aim to bring local stakeholders together to address labour market needs. They also consider the many challenges of integrating highly qualified immigrant talent into the labour market.
In some cities, IECs convene multi-stakeholder working groups. These include employers, community organizations, post-secondary institutions, assessment service providers, labour and immigrant professional associations. They also bring together all three levels of government to address immigrant employment issues.
IECs generally take on various roles within their regional business and social communities. These include:
- As a catalyst or provider of immigrant employment programs and services
- As an information clearinghouse and referral service
- As a provider of communication and awareness about the benefits of hiring immigrants
- As a facilitator to strengthen relations between government ministries, industry groups and the private-public-non-profit sectors.
Back in 2003, the first Immigrant Employment Council (Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council, or TRIEC) was formed. Since then, eight other cities have followed suit and created their very own IECs.
Thanks in part to foundations such as Maytree and the McConnell Foundation’s ALLIES Program (Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrant Employment Strategies), cities are connected through a pan-Canadian network that helps to support the development of these IECs, as well as their programs and services. However, no two IECs across Canada are alike.
Each IEC determines the model that is useful for the market trends and needs for its region, with a growth process that is organic and true to the nuances of each community.