Ottawa, ON – Addressing barriers to employment is an important step to ensuring the successful settlement and integration of all newcomers, including refugees. And private sector companies can play a vital role, whether by hiring newcomers directly in their workforce or taking steps to integrate them into their supply chains.
Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism, today announced funding for an innovative pilot project that will connect newcomers with jobs in the hotel industry. The Ministers were accompanied by Philip Mondor, President of Tourism HR Canada, and Susie Grynol, President of the Hotel Association of Canada.
Under the Service Delivery Improvements funding stream of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Tourism HR Canada will receive nearly $7 million to run a 3-year pilot project, in partnership with the Hotel Association of Canada, which will assist up to 1,300 newcomers – many of them refugees – in gaining job experience, while developing and testing an innovative settlement service delivery model. While on the job, newcomers will also have the opportunity to improve their English or French through informal learning, which will be supplemented by formal language training.
Tourism HR Canada will partner with the Hotel Association of Canada and other provincial and local labour market partners to employ newcomers in sustainable, long-term hotel jobs in five locations: Atlantic Canada, Southern Ontario, Saskatoon/Regina, Banff/Lake Louise/Southern Alberta, and the Yukon. Tourism is a powerful economic driver in Canadian communities, directly accounting for $41.2 billion of Canada’s GDP in 2017. But the industry often struggles to attract and retain enough employees to meet this demand. This pilot project will help support newcomer integration, while also ensuring quality service in the industry.
June 20 is World Refugee Day, which offers an opportunity to reflect on the shared responsibility to help those who are displaced, persecuted and most in need of protection. Canada has a long and proud tradition of providing protection to those who need it the most by providing refuge to the world’s most vulnerable people. Our country has welcomed generations of newcomers who have helped us build our society, culture and economy in long lasting and enduring ways.