By: Valerie Johnston | Photo: Sangeeta Subramanian
In February 2017, the Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia announced a new website dedicated to helping new refugees network with Canadian employers and industry professionals. The website aims to remove some of the most common obstacles between refugees and job hunting – such as how to find a job in British Columbia, how to network in Canadian industries, and more.
On this website, refugees can list their past experience and education, much like putting a resume online, and employers can then seek out the potential employees they need. This platform allows refugees who have not found an easy way to bypass a lack of Canadian work history or education, to showcase skills, experience, and more, all the while attracting the types of employers they want to work for.
This network mirrors the H.O.M.E. portal published in January 2016, which allowed refugees to network with and find sponsors, donors, and hosts in Toronto and surrounding areas. With many refugees having settled into the country over the past year, they are now seeking long-term employment that may have been difficult to find due to language barriers and other obstacles.
With this new network to allow refugees to find Canadian employment, less discrimination and more willingness to train are being observed. Many Canadian employers have stated that they are now more willing to provide training or language accommodations after finding refugee employees via the network. The British Columbia Refugees Job Connect website allows employers to search by keywords to find potential hires with the right skills or experience, which does away with many pre-requisites to have Canadian work history. Instead, skills are matched to jobs, and every party wins.
So far, this website has only been available for British Columbia job seekers and employers.