Thanks to the SAP Social Sabbatical for Local Engagement program, ISSofBC recently received top-notch help in exploring the viability of two innovative project ideas.

In both instances, cross-functional teams of SAP employees volunteered their talents and skills to assist ISSofBC’s settlement and employment management staff in:

  1. Exploring how to leverage technology securely and safely to provide additional support for refugee youth coming to Canada; and,
  2. Determining the feasibility of offering intercultural competency training to BC employers to assist with recruitment and retention of immigrants and refugees.

Rodrigo Soares, Key Client Manager for PYXERA Global, a Washington-based non-profit organization, connected ISSofBC with SAP’s Social Sabbatical program which provides pro bono consulting and training support to organizations that “show potential for growth in their capacity to bring about social impact.”

Since 2014, SAP’s Social Sabbatical program has fielded over 100 employees in skills-based volunteering assignments to over 30 host organizations in cities around the world.

“We feel incredibly fortunate to have been selected by PYXERA as recipients of SAP’s services and to have the multi-faceted talents of SAP staff engaged in solution-oriented problem solving,” said ISSofBC CEO Patricia Woroch. “The results of both projects are proving to be of enormous value in our strategic planning.”

“The current global refugee crisis points out the need for new and ‘out of the box’ solutions and the SAP Social Sabbatical helped us to do just that,” said Chris Friesen, ISSofBC Settlement Services Director, adding, “SAP’s report has helped us kickstart discussions with others including senior IRCC staff.”

As a result of SAP’s Social Sabbatical work with ISSofBC’s employment management staff that included dialogues with stakeholders, employer surveys and focus groups with leaders in industries experiencing labour market shortages, ISSofBC has begun moving towards actualizing an industry-specific intercultural training program for employers. “We anticipate SAP’s and ISSofBC’s joint efforts leading to a pilot project in the near future,” said Carla Morales, Director of ISSofBC’s Language and Career Services.