MAPLE 2.0 – Mentorship in Action, a national internship project ISSofBC is involved in as the Vancouver delivery partner, recently received Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) prestigious IQN Award in the Workplace Integration category.
The IQN is an online forum where employers, regulatory bodies, governments, and immigrant-serving organizations can share best practices in foreign credential assessment and recognition. The Workplace Integration Award recognizes Pan-Canadian initiatives that help newcomers integrate quickly and fully into the labour market.
“It’s always good to be recognized by our funder,” said Carmen G. Munoz, national program manager of the CIC-funded project who is affiliated with the lead agency, the Ottawa Chinese Community Services Centre (OCCSC). The third delivery partner of MAPLE 2.0 is Immigrant Services Calgary.
MAPLE 2.0 connects employers with internationally educated professionals (IEP’s) through 4 to 12-week internship placements. It creates employment opportunities for new immigrants while helping employers enhance their intercultural understanding.
Since it was launched over three years ago, Maple 2.0 has helped over 500 IEPs gain Canadian work experience in their fields of expertise. In Vancouver, the ISSofBC MAPLE 2.0 team led by Liza Bautista, settlement employment and MAPLE manager, and Ines Montoya, employer relations specialist, has successfully placed 135 newcomers in professional positions including microbiologists, IT specialists, mechanical and civil engineers. The program enjoys a positive reputation among employers in Metro Vancouver.
Liza, who has managed MAPLE 2.0 successfully over the last three years, is transferring responsibility to Freda Fernandes, Skills Connect manager, beginning April 1 to focus on the demands of rolling out the new CIC settlement services model. MAPLE 2.0 is also supported by Nilusha Paroo, program assistant.