Launched in 2018, the Professional Internship for Newcomers (PIN) initiative addresses the underemployment of immigrant professionals in the Kingston area by combining paid internships with workplace mentoring. In addition to improving the employment outcomes of immigrant professionals within our community by providing valuable career experiences, the program also supported the intercultural intelligence development for Kingston’s workforce.
Eleven employers participated in the pilot project in 2018, creating twelve professional internships for screened and qualified immigrant professionals. Interns were paid market-rates, with a mean hourly rate of $23.20, subsidized through PIN at a rate of $10/hour.
Twelve screened interns were selected from 34 eligible applicants to participate in internships commensurate with their education and experience. Interns were matched one-on-one with mentors for the duration of the internship, providing support and guidance as the intern adjusted to the new position and the Canadian workplace. The program is still running, with several of the employers having hired on their interns into permanent positions. The City and KEYS Job Centre are diligently working to secure funding for future PIN initiatives.