Last Updated On 20 December 2022, 12:37 PM EST (Toronto Time)
Today, on December 13, 2022, on the occasion of the partners’ meeting in Ottawa, IRCC Minister, Honourable Sean Fraser announced new funding for partner organizations to help expand Canada’s Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) to more skilled refugees.
Canada is expanding a pilot program to assist more skilled refugees in establishing their careers in Canada, providing employers with access to a new pool of talent. So far, Canada has been an international pioneer in refugee resettlement and assimilation, having resettled more refugees last year than any other country.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency’s Global Trends Report 2021, Canada resettled more refugees than any other country in the world that year, with almost 20,400 refugees finding a permanent, safe home.
However, as the world continues to face the worst refugee crisis in recent history, in addition to traditional resettlement, Canada is pioneering the development of labour-complementary pathways for refugees and their families to find a safe and permanent solution.
About the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP)
Over the next three years, Canada aims to collaborate with employers and communities across the country to expand the pilot and welcome 2,000 qualified refugees to address specific labour shortages in high-demand sectors such as health care, skilled trades, and information technology.
In an overview, partner organizations assist skilled refugees in connecting with companies in critical labour shortage occupations, such as nurse aides and personal care workers, chefs and cooks, and skilled tradespeople through the EMPP.
Once a job offer has been made, individuals can seek to immigrate to Canada through current economic programs, utilizing EMPP methods that reduce hurdles refugees may face due to displacement.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) began the EMPP as a small research project in 2018 to supplement Canada’s resettlement efforts. Phase 1 demonstrated that, with focused assistance, there are qualified refugees who can meet existing economic immigration program criteria and represent an untapped talent pool.
Phase 2 is presently in progress. IRCC hopes to accommodate up to 500 refugees and their families during this project’s second phase. Lessons learned will assist IRCC, and its partner organizations in expanding the EMPP to accept even more skilled refugees.
Moreover, the EMPP’s new phase makes it easier for refugees to apply for permanent residency. Waiving some fees, making it easier to demonstrate job experience, and allowing them to use loans to finance travel costs, settlement needs, start-up costs, and fees that cannot be waived are all EMPP facilitation measures. In addition, IRCC will evaluate these applications within six months.
Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot partner organizations
Partner organizations assist skilled refugees in connecting with employers who need to fill critical labour shortages in occupations such as nurse aides and personal care workers, chefs and cooks, and skilled tradespeople through the EMPP.
After receiving a job offer, individuals can seek to immigrate to Canada through current economic programs, utilizing EMPP methods that reduce obstacles refugees may face due to displacement.
Canada is collaborating with trusted partners to implement a new and more flexible approach to make it easier for suitable applicants to apply. For example, partners such as Talent Beyond Boundaries, TalentLift, and Jumpstart Refugee Talent can refer and support candidates directly.
However, Trusted partners will undergo mandatory training and go through quality assurance reviews to support them with this new responsibility.
Canada’s contribution to the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot
Canada is contributing $6.2 million to six EMPP partner organizations’ initiatives. These projects aim to strengthen these organizations’ capability in critical areas such as identifying eligible individuals overseas and assisting candidates and employers throughout the interview, hiring, and immigration processes. The funding will also assist the operations of a partner organization that provides affordable microloans to EMPP newcomers.
Moreover, under the EMPP, Canada has already received over 100 skilled refugees and their family members as of October 2022.
As the first chair of the Global Task Force on Refugee Labour Mobility, Canada is helping to generate momentum to develop complementary labour pathways in Canada and around the world.
Based on its experience with the EMPP, Canada is assisting in forming the Global Task Force on Refugee Labor Mobility, which was launched in April 2022. For the past two years, Canada has served as chair of the task force, collaborating with a diverse range of global partners and stakeholders, as well as refugees with lived experience and expertise, to set the groundwork for adopting these creative solutions globally.
Canada, Australia, the UN Refugee Agency, the International Organization for Migration, the International Chamber of Commerce, Fragomen, Talent Beyond Boundaries, and RefugePoint are among the task force’s eight founding members.
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