National forum, training, site visits, internships and mentoring
CHARLOTTETOWN – Aug. 9, 2013 – « The internship and mentoring programs that we will soon be establishing and the tangible activities that we will be organizing over the next three years – such as a national forum, various training sessions for employers and a series of worksite visits – will further facilitate the integration of immigrants into the Island work market, » says Catherine Rioux, new coordinator of the LIENS project.
« Some of our initiatives will be aimed directly at newcomers while others will be organized specifically for PEI employers to teach them even more methods that can be used to ensure a smoother integration of immigrants into their place of work, » she adds.
The LIENS project, whose French acronym translates to « Linking economic immigration with our successes », was developed by RDÉE Prince Edward Island, the provincial francophone economic development council. Project funding is provided mostly by Citizenship and Immigration Canada but organizers are also expecting a provincial contribution.
The RDÉE has been involved in the economic immigration sector for a few years now, primarily to help the province and various other partners who would like to see an increase in the number of French-speaking people on PEI. On numerous occasions, it has been stated that something has to be done immediately to increase these numbers to ensure that the level of bilingual services on PEI will be maintained. If nothing is done, the province is risking not having a sufficient number of people to fill all bilingual positions that are offered.
« For these reasons and many others, the RDÉE considers the economic immigration sector to be one of its major priorities for the next few years at least, » says RDÉE executive director Bonnie Gallant. « In fact, we have assigned one of our employees, our economic development officer Christian Gallant, specifically to this sector. He is in charge of the LIENS project as well as our representative on various provincial, Atlantic and national committees dealing with immigration. »
Secondly, she adds, funding from the LIENS project has allowed the hiring of project coordinator Catherine Rioux, a Quebec native who has been living on PEI since November 2012. « In addition, the project allowed us to assign another employee, former executive director Francis Thériault, as coordinator of the national forum that we are planning for the spring of 2014. »
Thériault anticipates this major event will feature several noteworthy speakers. « The forum will focus primarily on the importance of hiring and integrating immigrants into the local economy. We expect that the various components of the forum will address the needs of a variety of clients, including university students, employers, immigrants, investors and economic developers, » he said. « It is also quite possible that certain regional or national gatherings or conferences related to immigration could be held as a sideline to our forum. »
Rioux says during the first year of the project (between now and March 2014), she will coordinate guided tours of Island companies for permanent residents this fall, organize a series of training sessions for employers this winter and coordinate internships for permanent residents also this winter. She will also conduct research in preparation for the development of a mentoring program and work on the development of a web portal for the project.
During the second year (2014-2015), the programs and initiatives that were begun the first year will continue. The forum will also be staged in Charlottetown. Finally, during the third and last year, the various programs will be continued and the mentoring program will be implemented.
CUTLINE: Over the next three years, Catherine Rioux, the LIENS project’s new coordinator, will get to organize a variety of activities and programs designed to help integrate immigrants into the Island workplace. Francis Thériault will coordinate the organization of a national forum on immigration in the spring of 2014.
For more information:
LIENS project coordinator
(902) 370-7333, ext. 404