PeaceGeeks initiated the MentorApp research and pilot project, funded by Immigration,Refugees and Citizenship Canada from 2018 to 2021. Our aim was to understand current mentorship experiences, in order to co-create and test a digital platform that strengthens newcomers’ access to relevant employment mentors. As newcomers continue to face barriers finding skills-commensurate work, employment mentorship offers a proven way to bridge employment gaps.However, opportunities to connect with an employment mentor remain under-tapped by qualified newcomers.
Mentorship programs offered by settlement service providing organizations are also constrained by manual ,time-intensive program administration and limited mentor supply. In 2019, over 40,000newcomers of working age arrived in BritishColumbia; yet we estimate that less than 1,500newcomers in B.C. are matched in employment mentorship programs every year. With Snapp (Skilled Newcomers and Professionals Partnership), we inspected the question of how to deliver services online, leveraging automation and social dynamics to reduce barriers to entry and increase the scale and reach of mentorship opportunities.The project was conducted through shared visioning, research, co-design, and testing with newcomers, mentors, and over 15organizational partners, including service providing organizations(SPOs), Local ImmigrationPartnerships (LIPs), and municipal and community stakeholders.
1. Create better employment outcomes for newcomers through easier access to mentors with a relevant background and experience.
2. Design and develop an online application to help newcomers better access their most relevant mentors for employment.
3. Build settlement sector knowledge, collaboration, and capacity around accessible mentoring.