BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group
ACCES Employment

ACCES Employment

November 26, 2010 13:23 ET

Media Advisory-Hiring Bias Hurts Canada's Productivity: National Speed Mentoring® Program for Newcomers Takes Serious Aim at Stripping Away Barriers for Canada's Critical Future Talent Pool

BMO Financial Group and ACCES Employment to roll out successful mentoring program across Canada - offering proven opportunities to new Canadians

- 100 mentors from 65 companies to meet and mentor 100 recent immigrants to Canada

- 10-minute 'speed mentoring sessions' to provide sector-specific and occupation-specific information and advice

- Mentors are accomplished professionals in strategically important industries such as Finance, IT, Engineering, Human Resources, Sales and Marketing

- 80 per cent employment success rate at ACCES' five locations across the GTA

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 26, 2010) - BMO Financial Group and ACCES Employment will launch the first phase of a national Speed Mentoring® program, on Tuesday November 30 in the GTA.

The program offers new Canadians a proven opportunity to meet and network with professionals in their field. 

Study after study indicates immigrants bring increased levels of innovation and productivity to the Canadian companies that employ them, yet despite impressive credentials and relevant experience, newcomers to Canada continue to experience significantly higher unemployment rates (than Canadian-born residents). The net effect is a less globally competitive Canada. 

Leading businesses need to combat this labour force loss with new strategies to increase the integration of this vast pool of talent in the Canadian workforce.

BMO Financial Group is the sponsor for the national rollout of ACCES Employment's successful Speed Mentoring® program. The kick-off occurs on Tuesday, November 30 at a signature event in Toronto with 100 mentors – from 65 different companies -- and 100 mentees. Here, accomplished professionals in strategically important industries such as finance, information technology, sales and marketing, engineering and human resources will each network with six recent immigrants to Canada for 10 minutes each. They will provide them with sector-specific and occupation-specific information and advice.

Media are invited to observe or participate in Speed Mentoring®, interview mentees and mentors, and will be provided opportunities to take photos or videos.

WHAT: ACCES Employment Speed Mentoring® Signature Event, sponsored by BMO Financial Group
WHO: 100 immigrants seeking employment in the knowledge sector in Toronto.
  100 professionals in finance, information technology, sales and marketing, engineering and human resources, will mentor them -- 10 minutes at a time.
WHEN: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. (cocktail reception included)
WHERE: Toronto Board of Trade
  77 Adelaide St. West
  Toronto, ON M5X 1C1

Additional Background

In the four years the program has run in Toronto, ACCES' Speed Mentoring® has helped more than 1,600 professional newcomers expand their network and more than 60 employers have participated in Speed Mentoring®. The corporate partnerships established from Speed Mentoring® have played an important role in achieving an 80 per cent employment success rate at ACCES' five locations across the GTA. 


  • Productivity, innovation and investment are three major drivers of economic prosperity -- and studies show that immigrants contribute to all of them when given the opportunity.
  • Canada lags many other developed countries in productivity and innovation.
  • Despite the enormous benefits immigrants can bring to Canada, they still face onerous and often unnecessary obstacles that limit their ability to fully participate in the economy.
  • The shrinking population of working-age adults is leading to critical labour and skill shortages.
  • Immigrants are disproportionately recognized for achievements in research and the arts.
  • A significant barrier to employment is the difficulty immigrants face in having foreign credentials and work experience recognized.
  • The unemployment rate for recent immigrants (in Canada less than five years) in the city of Toronto was 17 per cent in 2009 compared to 10 per cent for the total city population.
  • A 2009 GTA study found that applicants with English-sounding names and Canadian experience were more than three times more likely to be considered for an interview than those with Chinese, Indian or Pakistani names and foreign education and work experience. The exception was applicants from Britain.

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