Marking World Refugee Day by supporting newcomer employment

News release

Innovative pilot project will connect newcomers with jobs in the hotel industry

June 20, 2018 – 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. The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and the Honourable 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.


Quotes

“As we mark World Refugee Day today, it’s important to focus not only on the plight of refugees and displaced people around the world, but also on how we can support refugees who have already arrived here in Canada. Refugees don’t just want our help. They want to contribute, with their energy and talents, to our society and economy. And it’s clear that the private sector has a more important role than ever before. I’m proud that the Government of Canada is partnering with organizations like Tourism HR Canada and the Hotel Association of Canada to find new and better ways to help newcomers succeed in their integration journey, which will ultimately strengthen our labour force and economy.”

– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“The Government of Canada is proud to support this innovative pilot project. I’m confident that Canada’s strong tourism industry will provide newcomers to Canada with a good start, in one of our most vital and vibrant industries. In return, these 1,300 people will make a meaningful contribution to their new home through their hard work and the warm welcome they extend to other new arrivals to Canada, contributing to economic growth from coast to coast to coast.”

– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism

“This initiative demonstrates the government’s commitment to seeking innovative solutions to the labour challenges currently facing the sector. The pilot program will introduce a scalable model that provides a win-win for hoteliers seeking engaged and committed new recruits, and newcomers who see the opportunity as an entry point to the Canadian workforce.”

– Philip Mondor, President of Tourism HR Canada

“We are proud that the Government of Canada has selected the hotel industry to pilot this project. Hotels have a long history of investing in new Canadians by providing a range of employment opportunities and strong training support. The hotel industry is pleased to play an important role in the settlement process for new Canadians.”

– Susie Grynol, President of the Hotel Association of Canada

Quick facts

  • In 2017, an all-time high of 20.8 million tourists visited Canada, and one in 10 Canadian jobs is associated with the visitor economy.

  • Between 200 and 600 hotels across Canada are expected to participate in this pilot program.

  • In 2018-19, IRCC will devote approximately $32 million to service delivery improvements, innovation and experimentation to continue to find better ways to deliver services to newcomers.

Associated links

Contacts

Contacts for media only

Mathieu Genest
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
613-954-1064

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
613-952-1650
IRCC.COMMMediaRelations-RelationsmediasCOMM.IRCC@cic.gc.ca


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