2.C Settlement and Integration
C.3 How is job search and training treated?
(iii) How can sponsors assist refugees to find employment?
How Canada Does It
Sponsors can help sponsored refugees access the job market by facilitating access to settlement services in their area, providing background information on the Canadian job market, assisting with employment planning, job searches, resume and interview preparation, and making use of the sponsor’s personal network to help connect refugees with employers.
Sponsoring groups undertake to provide assistance to sponsored refugees in finding employment. As part of their Settlement Plan, sponsors must demonstrate they are aware of and consider committing to registering sponsored refugees with local settlement agencies that can provide a range of supports, including employment-related services (see 2.C.3(ii)). Sponsors can also explain to refugees that they may want or need to get skills training to upgrade or re-certify in their profession or trade, or to learn new skills such as computer skills, customer service, hospitality, etc. to assist in finding work. Connecting with local settlement agencies will help sponsored refugees access various workshops, training sessions, counselling, and volunteer/mentorship/employment opportunities to help secure employment.
Sponsors can also provide the following assistance: helping sponsored refugees prepared Canadian-style resumes and cover letters, helping compile portfolios (where appropriate), assisting in navigating online job websites and classifieds and accessing applications, and helping refugees understand the barriers they may face in accessing the Canadian job market, including issues related to cross-cultural communication and the use of existing qualifications and skills.
Sponsoring groups are often composed of individuals with varying backgrounds and rich professional networks they should take advantage of in assisting refugees find work. Sponsors should encourage employees in their networks to hire refugees and create workplaces that not only benefit from the labour refugees provide but also contribute to their overall integration outcomes by, e.g. offering flexible work schedules to accommodate language training and childcare duties; providing interpretation services during the interview process; giving opportunities to shadow other employees to learn the job; offering transportation subsidies; providing scholarships and employment opportunities for children of refugees; and integrating language training into the work structure.
Sponsors should remember that while they must assist refugees in finding suitable employment, it is not mandatory that refugees work (see 2.C.3(iv)). Sponsors should exercise caution in offering employment to refugees they sponsor as the latter may feel compelled to accept the offer. Sponsors undertake to provide up to twelve months of income assistance to sponsored refugees and should respect refugees’ dignity and autonomy to make their own employment decisions. Refugees should never be pressured into taking jobs that they do not want.