Internships are one way winners of the 2012 Best Employers for New Canadians are recruiting and integrating skilled immigrants.
By Diane Jermyn (The Globe and Mail)
When Hari Pemasani came to Canada from the south of India in 2007, he was prepared to do whatever it took to make a living for his family, even if that meant making supermarket deliveries. But he was lucky. Within two months, he found a job as a pharmacy assistant in Hamilton for Loblaw Cos. Ltd., a food retailer as well as a provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial services.
“Loblaw immediately told me about their pharmacy program because they knew I was an international pharmacist,” says Mr. Pemasani, 42, who jumped at the chance to become a licensed pharmacist in Canada. “Loblaw paid all my fees. I did the program at the University of Toronto and my student placement and internship with the company. Once I qualified, I was able to work as a pharmacist for Loblaw, and within two months I became the pharmacy manager at the store where I started.”
In partnership with the U of T and the University of British Columbia, Loblaw provides internships to international pharmacy graduate students while they complete their courses, and once they’re fully licensed, offers them permanent positions. In recognition for this and other initiatives, Loblaw is one of the companies honoured as Canada’s Best Employers for New Canadians in 2012.
Other winning companies that offer jobs to newcomers after they complete internships include the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) in Calgary, an independent agency of the Government of Alberta; CH2M HILL Canada Ltd., an engineering, construction and operations firm in Toronto; and Toronto-Dominion Bank, also in Toronto. These employers and others on the list present a myriad of paid and unpaid training, apprenticeship and placement opportunities, generally through partnerships with educational institutions and community organizations.