Participants at the WELCOME 2016 - A Welcoming Communities Summit, held at Okanagan College. This year the event is called CONNECT 2017 and is bringing together regional employers and job seeking immigrants. Submitted photo

Forum connects immigrant job seekers and employers

CONNECT 2017 event will to help build the labour force in sectors in need of employees

A networking event will connect immigrant job seekers and regional employers to help build the labour force in sectors in need of employees.

“Labour market studies show that the labour force in the South Okanagan Similkameen region is not growing fast enough to meet employers’ needs for workers and demonstrates that new immigrants are an important source of skilled and experienced workers,” said Doug Holmes, South Okanagan Similkameen Labour Immigration Partnership co-chair. “Employers and immigrants have indicated that they want to be part of the solution. CONNECT 2017 gives us the opportunity to bridge the conversation and learn more about newcomer barriers to employment.”

According to SOSLIP, their research shows there may be a significant gap between the actual and the perceived skills and experience of new immigrants. Businesses that will be in attendance include those in the hospitality, technology, banking, healthcare and service industries.

The event, called CONNECT 2017, is hosted by the South Okanagan Similkameen Local Immigration Partnership that will include a workshop to address diversity in today’s workplace, a resource and job fair. It will also include an employer and immigrant panel discussions and a fun networking event.

CONNECT 2017 will be held on June 15 at Okanagan College from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Supporting partners include Community Futures, City of Penticton, YMCA Work B.C., Okanagan College and the South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services. Additional information can be found at www.soslip.ca/connect2017.

The SOS Local Immigration Partnership Council is a collaboration of 50 community leaders from across the region that are working to reduce the time it takes new immigrants to integrate socially and economically into our communities. The LIP Council is led by South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services with funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.