On-Demand Webcast: Syrian Refugees: Understanding the Depth of Highly Skilled Talent

Date and Time

Starts:04/25/2017 12:00 AM

Ends:04/27/2056 11:30 PM

Event Type: Webcast

1 Hour Hour(s)


HRPA Members:
$65 + Taxes
Join HRPA Now


Additional Information

Event Sponsor

Magnet, in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Toronto Area, will present key facts about the Syrian refugees who have settled in Greater Toronto. Nearly 7,000 Syrian refugees came to Toronto between November 2015 and November 2016.

To date, there has been tremendous interest in hiring Syrian refugees. However, there has been a lack of detail on what this cohort has to offer in terms of demographic characteristics, skills and educational background.

This webinar will provide participants with an increased understanding of these Syrian refugees and their wealth of talent. It will inform employers and recruiters how to access this population to meet their labour force needs.


Learning objectives:

  • Gain an overview of key facts and figures in regards to Syrian refugees in the GTA
  • Understand the language proficiency of Syrian refugees: on-arrival and now
  • Understand the educational qualifications of Syrian refugees: Secondary and Post-Secondary Education
  • Access untapped talent with highly skilled occupational qualification and experience
  • Learn about tools and resources for employers to recruit and retain Internationally trained professionals.


Who should attend?

HR managers, generalists, department managers, business owners, community organizations and government departments.  

Speaker bio(s)
Mark Patterson, Executive Director, Magnet & Hire Immigrants

Mark Patterson is a change maker in career development, economic development and workforce development fields. He is the Executive Director of Magnet, a new network powered by data-rich, job-matching technology that connects jobseekers with employers based upon skills, preferences and talent needs. Under Mark’s leadership, Magnet has become a network of over 80,000 individuals, 31 post-secondary educational institutions, 180 labour and community-based organizations and over 8,000 employers. The features of Magnet enable employers to prioritize diversity recruiting and target under-represented groups and has been credited for reducing early stage hiring bias. Mark has recently assumed the executive leadership role for the Hire Immigrants program and aims to strengthen the partnership between both organizations, to advance the employment outcomes for immigrants.

Darlene Holowachuk

Darlene Holowachuk is currently the Senior Vice President Operations - Employment and Community Programs with the YMCA of Greater Toronto. She is accountable for the strategic and operational plans/goals of a complex group of programs and services including employment, training, newcomer services, youth outreach and intervention at the local, provincial and national level. She is also responsible for 8 International partnerships for the YMCA of Greater Toronto. Darlene has over 30 years of experience working in the Not for Profit sector and has held a variety of positions. Darlene sits on a variety of boards and represents community based organizations on a number of local, provincial and federal committees.

Teresa Costa, General Manager, Immigrant Services

Teresa Costa, General Manager of the YMCA of Greater Toronto Immigrant Services, leads a very diverse team of over 100 dedicated staff providing settlement related services to over 40,000 immigrants across 3 cities in the GTA and online overseas. She currently co-chairs the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s National Language Advisory Body and is an active member of the National Settlement Council representing language assessment.

She is a former board member of the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks, the Ontario Coordinated Language and Referral Services (CLARS) Advisory Committee, Ontario Region Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Advisory Committee and past chair of the Ontario LINC Assessment Centre Coordinators Strategic Planning Working Group.

Austin Hracs, Manager, Research & Partnerships

Austin Hracs is the Manager of Research and Partnerships at Magnet. He is responsible for driving research initiatives with partnering organizations using Magnet’s Network of Labour Market Intelligence. Immigration and newcomer settlement has been central to his professional life. Prior to joining Magnet, Austin was a Senior Consultant with MDB Insight, Canada’s largest economic development consultancy. In this role Austin developed workforce development strategies for communities across Canada. Attracting and retaining newcomers was a consistent theme in this work. Austin is a firm believer in the importance of newcomers in driving economic prosperity in every community, big and small.