Launching careers

Imagine arriving in Canada, ready to start a new life with your family and prepared to work, only to face barrier after barrier while looking for employment. This experience is all too common for newcomers like Philip, who try to navigate their way through the Canadian job market. “Things are different here in Canada,” he explains. “The tried and true approaches I used in my country, just weren’t working here.” Then Philip found the London Middlesex Immigrant Employment Council Mentorship for Immigrant Employment program which connects internationally trained individuals with local mentors to gain a better understanding of the current job market in their field or occupation, establish valuable networking contacts, and learn more about sector-specific language and professional practice in Canada. “Every time I meet with my mentor, I feel more confident and excited about my future,” Philip beams. “I am learning about the hidden job market, networking effectively, and using new tools like LinkedIn to build connections. With these new tools and techniques, I am having success! I am connecting directly with hiring managers, and I have promising interviews on the horizon.”

“Things are different here in Canada. The tried and true approaches I used in my country, just weren’t working here.”


How we can help


To ensure that everyone in our community has a stable income through employment or through access to appropriate social benefits.


Many populations, including people with disabilities, people with mental health issues and newcomers, are more likely to be living in poverty as a result of having a low income. Accessing social assistance can be complicated and time consuming. Even full access to all applicable social assistance can leave a recipient with less than what is required to afford the basic costs of living. Employment is key to exiting poverty and an important first step is often the development of skills through participation in employment readiness programs. For newcomers, learning more about Canadian workplace culture is also key. Ethnic and racial discrimination in our community means visible minority groups are often unable to translate their skills and education into stable employment or proper compensation.


This year, United Way London & Middlesex will invest $336,815 in programs that help individuals gain access to applicable social assistance income. United Way also invests in programs and services that develop employability skills as well as programs that address barriers to employment including a newcomer mentorship program which provides valuable networking contacts for newcomers, provides background education of Canadian professional practices, and helps strengthen the local economy through the employment of newcomers.

Fast facts

1 in 4 people with disabilities living in poverty
1 in 5 of London’s newcomers live with low-income. Newcomers make up 26.6% of London’s low-income population
Even when education is taken into account, more than 1 in every 5 visible minority immigrants with a university education was found
in the poorest 20% of Canadians

Dakota HalfpennyPhilip