National Challenge seeks ideas to promote career development in Canada

In recognition of CERIC’s 10th anniversary, The Counselling Foundation of Canada is launching an online competition this summer to solicit ideas and create a national dialogue that can enhance and promote the image of career development in Canada.

The results of a national survey commissioned by CERIC about the Canadian workplace and how Canadians approach their own career development showed that career development, its professionals and their rich contribution to the nation are greatly undervalued. This online competition will serve to surface innovative strategies for how to solve this perception gap in Canada.

These proposals might include:  how to change high school curriculum to improve career development’s influence; policy recommendations that government could implement to persuade adult learners about the value of career development professionals; or a marketing campaign that makes the case about the benefits of seeking career development support.

A panel of judges will be assembled to shortlist entries based on their innovation, practicality and potential impact. The career development community will then vote for their top choices online. Three cash prizes of $5,000 will be awarded by the Foundation in addition to Cannexus 14 registrations for the three entries that receive the most votes. Winners will be recognized at the Cannexus conference in January 2014.

Mentoring works for skilled immigrants

A report published recently by ALLIES (Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrant Employment Strategies) and Accenture demonstrates the efficiency of mentoring for skilled immigrants in Canada. Entitled The results are in: Mentoring improves employment outcomes for skilled immigrants, the report makes a case for the economic benefits of mentoring, both for the mentees and society at large.

ALLIES launched its National Mentoring Initiative in 2009, which provides support to 12 mentoring programs across Canada. This program is meant to help reduce barriers faced by immigrants trying to integrate into the job market in Canada, such as a lack of professional networks and insufficient knowledge of Canadian workplace culture, by pairing internationally-trained professionals with a Canadian mentor in the same field of practice. In order to determine how effective mentoring was in helping skilled immigrants secure employment, ALLIES asked Accenture to conduct a survey of mentees across the country.

The findings confirm that the mentoring relationship leads to significantly better employment and financial outcomes for skilled immigrants. Unemployment among the mentees went from 73% to 19% over a 12-month period, while full-time earnings increased by as much as 62%. The mentees were also much more likely to be employed in their field and at the appropriate level. The report also points out that mentees find work faster than the average newcomer, and that most of them find permanent work.

As stated in the report, “[These] findings make a compelling case for scaling up mentoring in Canadian cities. Mentoring is a low-cost, high impact intervention that delivers on the promise of opportunity made to newcomers that make Canada their home every year.”

Visit for the full report.

Hope central to students’ vocational identity

A sense of hopefulness is a significant pathway to school engagement and vocational identity for post-secondary students, new CERIC-funded research has found. The research study, led by Dr Norman Amundson (University of British Columbia) and Dr Spencer Niles (Pennsylvania State University), recommends that career development professionals need to find ways to enhance hope in students as a key part of career counselling and education.

Hope seems to play an important role in vocational identity development and, to a lesser degree, academic performance among college/university students both in Canada and the United States, according to the research report Hope-Centered Career Development for University/College Students.

When hope is absent, students may be less likely to engage in diverse school activities; students with a lack of hope also may be less likely to have crystallized vocational identities and to achieve high GPAs. Thus, it is crucial for career practitioners and educators to promote hope in students. Career and school counsellors need to assess and address students’ hope as an integral part of career counselling and education. It is necessary to find strategies and resources in order to enhance hope in students. By fostering hope in students, they can help students engage in valuable school activities, which in turn, help students develop a sense of vocational identity and achieve successful academic performance.

To read the report, visit the page.

Widening the circle for Aboriginal people

Aboriginal people in Canada are the fastest-growing population segment, and more and more Aboriginals are attaining higher levels of education. For employers, it is a huge opportunity; however, there are still multiple barriers, as much for employers than for Aboriginal people, which prevent both from taking full advantage of this situation. Lingering prejudice, a lack of opportunity to learn about careers, remote locations and different definitions of success are just a few of them.

Seeking to address this challenge, Deloitte spearheaded Dialogue on Diversity, an initiative whose focus was to create connections between Aboriginal people and business. This series of dialogues explored ways in which these barriers could be overcome, and closer, more effective ties forged between Aboriginal Canadians and employers.

The project’s final report underscores how important such an effective relationship is for resource companies in particular: “With Canada’s economy relying largely on extraction and resource development, the need for skilled workers in many regions of the country will only increase. In remote northern communities, more and more organizations are discovering – often the hard way – the value of listening to Aboriginal people and looking to them for guidance. For resource companies, it’s not only a question of economic survival, it’s an astute risk management policy to engage Aboriginal talent and embrace collaboration”.

The report, Widening the Circle: Increasing opportunities for Aboriginal people in the workplace, can be downloaded from Deloitte’s website at

The Counselling Foundation of Canada reaffirms its focus on career development

The Counselling Foundation of Canada has completed a year-long strategic review process leading to the adoption of a new Strategic Plan that reaffirms its focus on grant-making to support the career development sphere.

The Foundation – which funds CERIC – was established in 1959 to create and enrich counselling programs and improve the technical skills of career counsellors in Canada. Since that time it has granted over $70 million to meets its aims. These funds have supported the launch and/or expansion of numerous post-secondary career centres and seeded many innovative programs, including Pathways to Education, first developed in Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood and then replicated in other communities nationally. The Foundation also played a leading role in supporting the development of the tri-mentoring model. It has likewise supported programs that promote the employability and career development of new Canadians, LGBTT youth, Aboriginal people, women at-risk and persons with disabilities among many others.

The Foundation continues to believe that the future of the career counselling and career development field is important for the personal development and economic prosperity of Canadians. The Foundation’s Strategic Plan articulates three priority areas of focus for the coming years:

  1. Helping to Foster a Sense of Clarity About and Recognition of the Value of the Career Counselling & Career Development Field
  2. Actively Participating in the Discussion of the Link between Education and Work in Canada
  3. Becoming More Active in the Philanthropic and Charitable Sectors

Read more about the Foundation’s plans in Looking Ahead: Highlights from our 2012 Strategic Review at

New Career Development Practitioner Program at Fanshawe College

The London, ON institution will now be offering a Career Development Practitioner Post-Graduate Certificate for professionals seeking to enter or advance in the career development field. The program will combine academic study and practical experience by including an academic curriculum as well as field integration and practicum courses.

The program will expose students to individual and group career counselling theory, as well as other aspects of career development such as career planning, career change, career revision and school-to-work transition. All courses will be delivered on a part-time basis, and in a blended format, combining evening classes and online learning. The program is mapped out so that learners can complete one or two courses at a time depending on their availability and/or preferred timeline for completion.

The program’s first intake will begin in the fall of 2013; approved applicants will be able to register in courses each term.

For more information on this new program, visit the website of Fanshawe College’s Faculty of Regional and Continuing Education at You can also find information on career development education and training programs across the country on the CERIC website at

Canada’s Career Imperative: Fixing the ‘talent disconnect’

This year CERIC has begun hosting a series of roundtable events across Canada to discuss fixing our “talent disconnect.” where individual skills and interests don’t always line up with emerging career options or what regional job markets immediately offer.

The goal of the Canada’s Career Imperative is to have a national conversation about how to “develop, connect and retain the best of our talent” to meet the ever changing needs of disruptive markets. This is a discussion in which business, education and government all have a stake.

Recognizing the constant swings in and out of recession, and major global forces that rapidly impact the changing world of work (technology, aging demographics and social behaviour to name a few); we in Canada have a real need for genuine, innovative and collaborative action.

Discussion at the roundtables has been focused on three key questions:

  • If there was one thing you would change to make the work search & talent match process work better, what would it be?
  •  Variant language describes the “talent disconnect” dilemma. What would you say to make a strong business value proposition for career development services all through the work-life cycle as our nation’s investment?
  • What are some examples in your regional area of collaborative innovations where business (small & large), education, community-based services, trade groups and government are developing and connecting people with productive and rewarding career opportunities?

Roundtables have already been held in Burlington and Toronto. Further roundtables will be held in Calgary in June and in Moncton, Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver in the fall.

To follow the discussions, visit  where reports from each city are being posted.