TORONTO, May 27, 2015 /CNW/ - Magnet, a not-for-profit social initiative that connects job seekers and employers, has been awarded a $120,000 grant from The Counselling Foundation of Canada. The funds will provide Magnet with the resources needed to expand support for immigrant-serving agencies across the country and to connect new immigrants to meaningful employment.
Magnet was developed at Ryerson University's DMZ, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce which represents about 60,000 employers and two million jobs, as a unified and coordinated response to pressing unemployment and underemployment issues. Magnet's membership includes more than 25 universities and colleges and 60,000 job seekers.
According to Mark Patterson, executive director, "Newcomers are key to strengthening Canada and increasing our labour market growth, yet research continues to show that immigrants – especially skilled immigrants – have difficulty finding employment that match their qualifications. According to Statistics Canada, in 2014 about 12% of university-educated immigrants who have come to Canada in the last five years are without a job."
Bruce G. Lawson, president and CEO of The Counselling Foundation of Canada, says capitalizing on available skills and talents is for the betterment of a prosperous economy. "It's important for Canada that people are hired in a way that puts their skills and talents to the best possible use. Magnet's two-way platform was of interest to us because it goes beyond simply being a job board. Not only does it provide immigrants with the potential to continue in their chosen career paths, employers can also tap into skill sets they may not have been able to access through other channels."
The Magnet network, which launched in September 2014, allows candidates to build their profile by uploading their resume. Once they are registered, the system provides them with postings that match their skills, qualifications and preferences. Qualified job candidates are also automatically informed any time an employer adds a new posting, thereby shielding the person's identity until they decide to communicate with the potential employer.
Since the launch of Magnet, Patterson says he has received strong interest from immigrant-serving organizations, agencies and networks. "Feedback from these organizations have made it clear that we need to expand our support efforts. This grant will play an instrumental role in helping us break down silos between stakeholders to create a national, interconnected, and sustainable network using one common platform."
About The Counselling Foundation of Canada
The Counselling Foundation of Canada, a family foundation funded by Frank G. Lawson and his estate, was established in 1959 to create and enrich career counselling programs and improve the technical skills of career counsellors. The object of the Foundation is to engage in charitable and educational activities for the benefit of people; thus enabling them to improve their lifestyles and make a more effective contribution to their communities.
Magnet is a new network powered by data-rich, job-matching technology that connects job seekers with employers based upon skills, preferences and talent needs. The network is also a unique source of real-time labour market information for decision makers and community planners. Magnet's goal is to address unemployment and under-employment specifically as it relates to youth, new immigrants, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and other individuals facing barriers to employment.
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