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Monday, September 21, 2009

New training for environmental professionals

In today’s tough economy, finding meaningful employment can be a difficult task for internationally trained professionals. To help remove barriers faced by newcomers, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) is launching the Mentoring to Placement for Environmental Professionals (M2P) Program. The program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration as part of its investment in bridge training programs throughout the province.

"Ontario’s investment in internationally educated environmental professionals will help them get the experience and knowledge they need to work in Ontario. That means a better and safer environment for our families and future generations," said Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Michael Chan.

The M2P Program targets the environmental sector and offers a mentorship component followed by a three to 12 month paid work placement for 40 internationally trained environmental professionals in the fields of environmental planning, terrestrial or aquatic biology, ecology, or green building technologies.

"Toronto and Region Conservation has been providing green jobs for more than 50 years, and we’ve found that there is a current skills shortage,” said Marisa Iorfida-Sdao, Sr. Project Manager, Volunteerism and Diversity at TRCA. “There’s an untapped pool of talented internationally trained environmental professionals out there with diverse skills in their field, but their lack of Canadian experience and networks are common barriers for finding a job in their field. The workshops and mentoring relationship will allow the participant to get the support and guidance from environmental professionals who can then help them improve their local knowledge, build new networks and open doors to employment opportunities where they can make a valuable contribution to their field."

The program is led by TRCA through its Environmental Volunteer Network (EVN) and offers three main components: a mentorship, technical and soft skills workshops, and a three to 12 month paid work placement with a host organization.

Application dates are August 31 until October 5, 2009. Requirements include a bachelor degree in the field, and three years of relevant work experience outside of Canada. For more information about the application process please visit www.trca.on.ca/m2p

The M2P Program is delivered in partnership with Skills for Change and ACCES Employment Services.

Since 2002, TRCA has been working to assist thousands of newcomers arriving in Toronto adjust to a new country and locate a position in the environmental sector through a variety of programs including the Professional Access and Integration Enhancement Program for Environmental Engineers and the EVN.


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