To date, over 27,190 Syrian refugees have arrived in Canada since November 2015. Over 5000 of these have settled in the GTA so far with a total of 7000 expected by the end of 2016. With so many already here, the focus is now on how best to help them integrate and find employment.
Many Syrian refugees have arrived with large families, young children and a determination to settle and find work quickly. While the determination and desire to work and settle in Canada is there, refugees face similar challenges to other immigrants as well as additional challenges unique to their situation. The following can help employers interested in connecting, hiring and supporting refugees in their employment journey.
Connecting with refugee job seekers
The refugees who arrive in Canada bring a wide range of skill sets and include many highly skilled and educated individuals. Employers in the GTA who are looking to connect with these individuals can contact CASIP (the Consortium of Agencies Serving Internationally Trained Persons) through www.casip.ca.
Don’t miss this opportunity: Employers can also take advantage of a unique opportunity to meet many of these professionals by participating in the Refugee Job Fair from noon to 5 p.m. on June 22nd at Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management. Employers interested in participating should email Anita Caroll at ACCES Employment (Acaroll@accesemployment.ca).
Addressing the unique employment challenges of refugees
Refugee professionals face unique challenges. Having fled a war zone where educational institutions and other infrastructure have been destroyed, standard credential recognition may no longer be possible. The result is that they can struggle to prove their qualifications and be considered as potential candidates.
World Education Services (WES), which provides expert credential evaluation services, is currently exploring best practices to enable a refugee professional to declare post-secondary academic achievements with their Canadian equivalency. Their recent report, “Recognizing Refugee Credentials,” provides some initial insights. More details will be forth coming, but in the meantime, interested organizations may also want to review their report – Syria: Educational Country Profile.
Providing additional supports to refugees
Employers have stepped up to help refugees in many different ways, such as providing financial and other forms of assistance to settlement service providers. If you are looking to support refugees in other ways, consider contacting one of the following non-profit organizations:
- LifeLine Syria
- The Arab Community Centre of Toronto (ACCT)
- Enactus Ryerson’s Project Welcome: financial literacy support in Arabic
- The Refugee Career Jumpstart Project (RCJP)
- SPAN – Syrian Professionals Active Network
Success stories: Employers and refugees connect
Employers across Canada are offering employment to Syrian refugees. The following are just some of the success stories: