The Government of Canada is working hard to resettle at least 40,000 Afghan nationals as quickly and safely as possible. Canada has now welcomed a total of 13,050 Afghan refugees, with more arriving every week.
For many newcomers, securing meaningful employment is a critical step in their resettlement journey and is integral to financial independence. It also helps ease Canada’s labour shortages and supports our country’s post-pandemic economic growth by filling vacancies across the country.
Small businesses across Canada have shown incredible leadership in hiring newcomers. On Prince Edward Island, the Immigrant & Refugee Services Association Prince Edward Island (IRSA PEI) helps refugees who want to settle in smaller communities across the province. Mr. Khaled Salar, an Afghan newcomer, secured highly skilled employment shortly after his arrival in Canada after connecting with SpryPoint, a Charlottetown-based company that creates cloud-based software. He was offered a position as a project manager at SpryPoint based on his years of experience. This is a shining example of the powerful impact of matching job opportunities with newcomers’ skills.
Recognizing the contributions that refugees bring to the Canadian workforce, larger employers across Canada have also stepped up their efforts to offer jobs to Afghan newcomers by providing them with the opportunities, skills, and work experience they need to be successful. Here’s how some businesses are doing their part:
- McCain Foods/Day & Ross have committed to hiring more than 125 refugees by 2024, with corporate and manufacturing opportunities across Canada.
- Maple Leaf Foods has made more than 700 positions available across the country, namely in farming, processing and production.
- Commissionaires, a not-for-profit, self-supporting organization and Canada’s largest private sector employer of Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police veterans, has identified positions open to Afghan refugees. Now 22,000 strong across Canada, commissionaires are trained to work as security guards, mobile patrollers, administrative clerks, receptionists, systems security technicians, network cabling technicians, supervisors and more.
- Amazon/Amazon Web Services have extended an invitation to Afghan refugees to apply for vacant positions in 12 cities across Canada such as Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Halifax. They also offer support for employees who wish to upgrade their skills.
We continue to see an outpouring of goodwill from Canadians across the country, including businesses. As a business owner, learn about ways you can help engage with newcomers and how they can benefit your business.
Finding stable employment is crucial to the success of newcomers in Canada, and many are eager to build on their experience and skills in their new communities. I’m thrilled that so many Canadian businesses are providing jobs and mentorship opportunities to the world’s most vulnerable, so they can continue to enrich our communities and help grow our economy.
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
The key to our success is our dedicated people and how they work together to understand the unique needs of newcomers to our Island. The Employment Assistance Service team provides integrated employment support tailored to meet an individual’s needs. It makes our day when we receive the good news that another job offer has been accepted!
Bernadette Reynolds, Executive Director, IRSA PEI
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