As an organization, ACCES takes pride in the quality of our services and our ability to innovate and generate results for all of our stakeholders. ACCES’s role has always been to bring together jobseekers, newcomer entrepreneurs, business, government funders and program partners in a model that applies a coordinated and collaborative strategy to enable employment and business success. Working with various partners, ACCES looks for opportunities to leverage our expertise and best practices to support jobseekers looking for work, newcomers starting a business in Canada, and employers and business partners seeking skills and talent for their workplaces. Collaboration between all of our stakeholders has been key to our success; it has created the foundation for increasing the effectiveness and relevance of our services in the context of constantly changing workforce needs. At the same time, our specialization in serving newcomer jobseekers and entrepreneurs has never been more critical than today, as Canada faces growing skills gaps and shortages in our labour market.
Recently, Canada was recognized internationally by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for our leading model of economic immigration and for the success that we have experienced in the management of this model. Yet despite this leading role, we know that there are still significant barriers faced by many newcomers to Canada to successfully integrate into our labour market. The programs and services offered by ACCES, funded by government and supported by a growing number of corporate partners and donors, remain critical and essential for newcomers to overcome those barriers. Furthermore, these services must be coordinated and seamless between organizations and across communities, particularly for more vulnerable populations such as youth, women, and refugees, who face multiple challenges beyond employment.
ACCES has achieved significant results this past year, serving over 35,000 jobseekers and newcomer entrepreneurs across all of our programs and services in-person and online. Through our Employment Ontario services, 86% of our jobseekers found employment or achieved their training objectives. Collectively, our sector-specific bridging programs supported 84% of participants to find employment in their field within one year. This past year, ACCES has also continued to expand our online programs and services including our Electrical Engineering Connections program, Business Connections en Francais and our pre-arrival program, Canadian Employment Connections is now serving entrepreneurs before they arrive in Canada.
This past year was also significant in terms of building and extending our employer partnerships. In the Greater Toronto Area, our newest location in Markham is a collaborative partnership between ACCES and RBC Meeting Place – helping newcomers with employment, settlement and financial advice. We also launched a new program, Women in Technology, supported by the TD Ready Challenge, which will help newcomer women to transition into jobs in the programming and IT field.
Finally, to reflect our ongoing commitment to service excellence and adapting to change, we undertook a process to refresh our brand this year. This will ensure that ACCES remains highly visible and relevant to all of our key stakeholders. We are excited to introduce our new logo through this annual report, and new branding elements and messaging over the coming year.
We would like to acknowledge the support of our current funders, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; United Way Greater Toronto; and the City of Toronto. Thank you for your ongoing commitment and confidence in the strength of our services and programs. We also acknowledge and thank all of our leading employer partners, sponsors and donors for their generous support this year.
We are pleased to present our 2018-2019 annual report, Building Our Future Workforce to emphasize the active role that each of us plays in contributing to the success of jobseekers and newcomer entrepreneurs as they look for connections to employment and business. Only by working together can we address the needs of employers and businesses in Canada where the skills and talent of those we serve are essential for our country to thrive.