Reskilling and Upskilling Immigrant Talent During COVID-19

Immigrants and newcomers can help power Canada’s economic recovery and build a better post-pandemic world. On Friday, March 26, we are presenting “Reskilling and Upskilling Immigrant Talent During COVID-19” in partnership with the Future Skills Centre – a series of workshops covering critical dimensions and emerging issues in future skills, innovation and immigration as part of the Metropolis Canada Conference.

A limited number of free registrations valued at $75 are available to the Diversity Institute network. I invite you to share your contact details now if you would like to attend.

I will be presenting “Inclusive Innovation in Skills and Employment: Leveraging Disruption in the Labour Market” at 11 AM EDT to open the program. Patrick MacKenzie, Immigrant Employment Council of BC; Shamira Madhay, World Education Services; and Bruce Dewar, Lift Partners, will also join me for an engaging fireside chat.

Subsequent sessions will bring together thought leaders and experts from the skills and employment sector and the immigrant and newcomer support ecosystem:

Innovation in the Immigration Ecosystem – 12PM

  • Hear about strategies to drive innovation in the immigrant ecosystem and the results of recent research.
  • Speakers: Mark Patterson, Magnet; Dana Wagner, TalentLift Canada; Tanya Qadir, The Rumie Initiative.

The Platform Economy: Racialized and Gendered? – 12PM

  • Can the COVID-19 pandemic lead to substantial positive change for platform economy workers proven indispensable during stay-at-home orders?
  • Speakers: Karen E. McCallum, Diversity Institute; Laura Lam, University of Toronto & Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Migration and Integration; Kam Phung, Schulich School of Business.

Immigration and the Success of Canada’s Post-Pandemic Economy – 12PM

  • Learn about the impacts of COVID-19 on immigrants and strategies for ensuring that immigrants and immigration are at the heart of Canada’s post-pandemic recovery.
  • Speakers: Katie Feenan, Public Policy Forum; Shamira Madhany, World Education Services; Adwoa K. Buahene, Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC); Leah Nord, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Entrepreneurship as a Pathway to Integration – 1:30PM

  • How Canada’s economic recovery can be strengthened by unlocking entrepreneurship as a viable pathway to immigrant inclusion.
  • Speakers: Brian Robson, Diversity Institute; Manal Khader, Diversity Institute; Magdalena Sabat, Diversity Institute; Nora Cottrill, Scadding Court Community Centre; Jodi-Ann Francis, Diversity Institute; Ravi Subramaniam, The Neighbourhood Organization; Esel Panlaqui, The Neighbourhood Organization.

Innovative Approaches to Supporting ESL – 1:30PM

  • Learn about innovative approaches being developed and used in English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction.
  • Speakers: Stuart Schwartz, Red River College; Bayan Khatib, Syrian Canadian Foundation; Ashley Manuel, Association of Canadian Studies; Fatmata Kamara, Association of Canadian Studies.

Trauma-Informed Approaches to Skills Training – 1:30PM

  • Hear about trauma-informed approaches to skills training programs, and the steps that still need to be taken.
  • Speakers: Wendy Cukier, Diversity Institute; Shafi Bhulyan, ITMD Program, Ryerson University; Susan Swayze, George Washington University and Diversity Think Tank; Sajedeh Zahraei, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants; Vicky Waldron, Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan Inc.

Impacts of COVID on Youth: The Challenges of Homeschooling – 1:30PM

  • Review the data on the disruption of education and an innovative pilot project which provides free online tutoring.
  • Speakers: Grace-Camille Munroe, Lifelong Learning Institute; Aaron Smajda, Diversity Institute; Ron McKelvey, Ontario Tech University; Karen Mundy, University of Toronto; Kelly Gallagher-Mackay, Wilfrid Laurier University.

Impacts of COVID-19 on Newcomers – 3PM

  • Hear about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on newcomers and the implications for digital reskilling and upskilling.
  • Diversity Institute Speakers: Guang Ying Mo, Miki Itano Boase, Rochelle Mijesingha and Mohamed Elmi.

Impacts de la COVID sur l’emploi des nouveaux arrivants et des populations racialisées – 3PM (French only)

  • Les présentateurs partageront les résultats d’une variété d’enquêtes illustrant les défis auxquels ces groupes font face ainsi que la variation des impacts qui existent au sein de ces communautés.
  • Speakers: Andrew Parkin, Environics Institute; Gaëlle Cachat-Rosset, Chaire BMO – Diversité et gouvernance, Université de Montéal; Simon Blanchette, Diversity Institute; Jack Jedwab, Association for Canadian Studies

Innovative Employment Approaches for Immigrants – 3PM

  • Discover innovative approaches connecting immigrants to employment, including the use of new technologies as well as other new, non-technological solutions.
  • Speakers: Justine Namara, Skills for Change; Henry Akandko, Hire Immigrants Ottawa; Daisy Quon, Immigrant Employment Council of BC.

Kind regards,

Wendy Cukier, Founder and Academic Director, Diversity Institute

Event Details

Friday, March 26, 2021
11:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT

Register today