Canada is an international leader in refugee resettlement and integration, having resettled more refugees than any other country in the world last year. As the world faces the worst global refugee crisis in recent history, more needs to be done. This is why Canada is pioneering the development of labour complementary pathways, in addition to traditional resettlement, for refugees and their families to find a safe and permanent solution.
On the occasion of the partners meeting in Ottawa, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced today new funding for partner organizations to help expand Canada’s Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) to more skilled refugees. Over the next few years, Canada is aiming to work with employers and communities across the country to expand the pilot and welcome 2,000 skilled refugees to fill specific labour shortages in high-demand sectors, such as health care, skilled trades and information technology.
Through the EMPP, partner organizations help skilled refugees overseas connect with employers who need to fill critical labour shortages in occupations like nurse aides and personal support workers, chefs and cooks, and skilled tradespeople. Once candidates receive a job offer, they can apply to immigrate to Canada through existing economic programs, using EMPP measures that remove barriers refugees may experience due to their displacement.
To make it easier for qualified candidates to apply, Canada is rolling out a new and more flexible process with its trusted partners. Partners—including Talent Beyond Boundaries, TalentLift and Jumpstart Refugee Talent—will be able to directly refer and support candidates. To help them with this new role, trusted partners will receive mandatory training and go through quality assurance reviews.
In addition, Canada is providing $6.2 million to support 6 projects by EMPP partner organizations. These projects will build the capacity of these organizations in key areas, including identifying qualified candidates overseas, and supporting candidates and employers throughout the interview, hiring, and immigration processes. Funding will also support the work of a partner organization that helps EMPP newcomers with affordable microloans.
As the inaugural chair of the Global Task Force on Refugee Labour Mobility, Canada is helping build momentum to expand complementary labour pathways, both in Canada and around the world.