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National Hiring Portal for Homeless Youth Turns Problem into Possibility

There’s nothing like a bout of homelessness to dash a person’s expectations of, and chances for, viable employment. A new web-based social enterprise is seeking to address that black mark, though, with a Canada-wide program aimed at linking employers and willing would-be employees.

homeless

How it works

HireUp is a youth-hiring initiative that will operate like Workopolis does, with companies uploading in-house opportunities and youth-serving social agencies responding to them with candidates’ resumes. While most of the individuals are homeless and have yet to amass any formal work experience, they make up for this deficiency with enthusiasm for meaningful employment.

Currently, the site features some 180 full-time, and a slew of part-time, positions, on offer with companies such as Home Depot Canada, NEI Investments and Nordstrom.

The nominal fee employers pony up for their participation is reinvested in programs dedicated to improving conditions for homeless youth by way of the 18 social agencies involved in the project.

The scene by the numbers

Canada’s national youth unemployment rate was at 13.5% in October, almost double that of the general population (7.1%). Anywhere from 35,000 to 65,000 youth experience homelessness in Canada each year.

The first program of its kind in this country, HireUp is organized by corporate social responsibility consultancy Impakt. This Toronto-based organization launched the website with the collaboration of Workopolis and the Home Depot Canada Foundation.

HireUp is unique for the way it facilitates a corporation’s involvement in alleviating youth homelessness while simultaneously addressing its own personnel gaps.

Win and win.

Employer Portal Seeks to Streamline Foreign Workers’ Hiring

Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) Canada has launched a new online system, the Employer Portal, to oversee the processing of employment offers Canadian employers make to foreign workers through the International Mobility Program (IMB).

The IMB distinction is critical. Employers who extend employment offers to individuals via IMB are exempt from having to secure proof — in the form of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) — that the offer will visit a positive or neutral impact on the Canadian labour market. (Jobs that require an LMIA are filed under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, another stream that doesn’t intersect with the IMP.)

workers5Once an employer has established electronic login credentials with the portal and launched the submission of an offer of employment, the site will walk him through a stream of questions to determine various details of the transaction. It will inquire about the company’s size, type, age and principal activities. And it will ask questions about the job on offer, including the duties expected of the foreign national in question, the minimum experiential and educational requirements of the role, and the wage and benefits on the table.

Once the employer has completed these sections and paid a compliance fee ($230), it awaits the CIC’s confirmation of the application’s receipt. This can range in duration from instantaneous to several days. At this point, the business is assigned a file number that the foreign worker then references in his application for a temporary work permit. (The application through the Employer Portal must be submitted prior to submitting the work permit application.)

The introduction of the Employer Portal is one component of a large-scale movement to shift Canada’s immigration application processes into the digital world. Critics argue that, while the intention is sound and the data-collection efforts will no doubt improve as a result, the development actually introduces fresh complications for employers looking to hire foreign nationals on a temporary basis in Canada. The portal was unveiled with minimal guidance and therefore throws wide the possibility of procedural and technical snafus as newbies work to navigate the site.