Francophones in the community seeking employment in the financial services sector can access a new French-language portal which was launched last week.
The Central of Excellence in Financial Services Education (CEFSE) and La Passerelle-Integration & Economic Development (IED) organization collaborated to launch the gateway for job seekers.
Funded by the province’s Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities (MTCU), the portal details information on in-demand careers in the financial services sector and provides job seekers with the opportunity to create a personal profile that will enable them to be matched with work opportunities they are actively pursuing.
“The new portal is going to play a critical role in informing Francophones of careers in the financial services sector,” said CEFSE executive director, Dr. Catherine Chandler-Crichlow, at the launch. “The quality of the research underpinning it and the active involvement of sector employees to shape it and update it facilitates a link between the supply and demand of talent. It’s such a convergence that elicits rave reviews for the English version and we anticipate as much success for the new French-language portal.”
Established five years ago, the CEFSE was set up to, among other things, attract top talent to the city’s financial services sector, provide working links between education providers and employers and connect job seekers to employers.
In its first year, the organization launched a career advisor micro site to disseminate information to students, career influencers and shifters, community and employment agencies and educators on the in-demand careers prioritized by financial services sector employers.
“One of the groups we came to realize was under-served in the community was the Francophones because they didn’t have access to the same sort of information in French,” said Dr. Chandler-Crichlow, who graduated from the University of the West Indies’ St. Augustine campus in Trinidad & Tobago with a Diploma in Education and a Bachelor of Science degree (honours) and holds a Master’s in Education from Harvard University and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Toronto. “We have a number of French-speaking newcomers in our community who, if they didn’t have access to this kind of information, would continue to be unaware of career opportunities in the financial service sector.”
MTCU assistant deputy minister, Marie-Lison Fougere, said the new resource is unique.
“It’s rigorous and will be regularly updated to reflect the financial industry employers’ current demand,” she said.
Chandler-Crichlow and La Passerelle IED executive director, Leonie Tchatat, met two years ago when they were on the expert roundtable assembled to develop a strategy and examine ways that immigration can best support Ontario’s economic development and help new Ontarians find jobs.
“It was at that time that we started talking about what we could do to have the same sort of information, that is available to immigrants and newcomers in English, also readily accessible for French-speaking people,” said Chandler-Crichlow, who has over three decades of talent development experience specializing in the areas of executive and leadership development, curriculum development and implementation, technology-mediated distance learning and program evaluation. “This has been an ongoing collaboration and I think it’s a great opportunity to ensure that more people are aware.”
A former TD Bank Financial Group associate vice-president of education & training, Chandler-Crichlow urged job seekers not to limit their search for employment in the financial services industry.
“There is a common assumption that banking is the only option in the industry and that’s not the case,” she said. “We have a range of insurance companies, asset management firms, credit unions and mutual fund companies that people looking for work in the industry can look at also.”
La Passerelle was founded in 1993 by Tchatat, who migrated from Cameroon, to facilitate the integration and economic development of Francophone newcomers and youth in the Greater Toronto Area.