Everyone can benefit from a helping hand now and again. Sometimes that helping hand takes the form a mentor.
A mentor is someone who has been there before you and can guide you through that next stage of your life or career. At Catholic Centre for Immigrants, our Career Transitions Program recently had several participants in the ITP Mentorship Program. ITP recently held a gala bringing together mentors, mentees, community partners and volunteers to celebrate the program and mark Canada’s 150th birthday.
Michelle James, Job Developer with Career Transitions, answered a few questions about mentorship and the benefits it provides.
Q. What is the mentorship program?
A. The ITP Mentorship Program helps create and connect our internationally trained health professionals with learning opportunities in health care in the National Capital Region. The goal is to help participants transition into employment through skills and experience gained during their mentorship.
Q. What are some of the things participants learn from their mentors?
A. Participants work alongside a professional who mentors them throughout the placement. Participants get hands on experience in the Canadian workplace, access to workshops and resources and gain skills in a placement that is related to their profession. Health care is a particularly challenging sector to enter as an internationally trained professional. The opportunity to be mentored in the workplace allows clients an opportunity to learn, network and contribute to the organization and the greater community. The exposure and experience our clients gain in community health care settings is invaluable and helps them achieve their career goals in Canada. They also gain a valuable professional reference from a Canadian organization which is essential in finding a job.
Q. Who is eligible to participate?
A. This program is available to newcomers with no Canadian work experience in their profession. Placements are usually three months in length and participants must apply and interview for each placement, similar to applying for a job. You can find out more about eligibility criteria and the different mentorship placements available on their website.
Q. How has mentorship helped participants in the Career Transitions Program?
A. Career Transitions and the ITP Program have been collaborating partners for several years and the benefits to our clients are significant. Aside from the skills, experience and professional references gained, the chance to network professionally is also invaluable.