Last Updated: June 10, 2017

Sponsor collaboration with an employment service – Dos and Don’ts


Once a newcomer has selected an employment service, he or she may wish to have someone from a sponsor or support group accompany him or her to the initial meetings with the service. Having the opportunity to hear and participate in the discussion about process, timelines, and expectations will enable a sponsor to offer better help to both the service and the newcomer and to calm any nervousness or frustration on the part of the newcomer, along the way.


Once a newcomer has signed up with an employment service, the newcomer – not the sponsor – becomes the service’s client.


It may well be that the employment service is not used to collaborating with private sponsors or other support groups. Privately-Sponsored Refugees may represent only a small portion of its overall clientele. (Other clients may include Government-Assisted Refugees, non-refugee newcomers, and non-newcomers, none of whom are likely to have the support of sponsor groups.) If so inclined, sponsors should be ready to make a strong case as to how they can collaborate with the service.


Furthermore, the employment service’s relationship with the newcomer will also be governed by strict privacy protocols, which the service is bound to uphold. However, if it so chooses, there is no reason that the employment service cannot obtain the consent of the newcomer to share information with the sponsor. It would be up to the sponsor to convince both the employment service and the newcomer that such sharing would be beneficial.


The employment service will develop its own employment plan for the newcomer, including:



(See article on “Role of an employment service“.)


If the sponsor or support group has already explored and documented these elements of a plan, they can be shared with the employment service and can serve as a very good starting point for its work with the newcomer. This would be especially useful if the newcomer has limited English language proficiency.


Once the employment service has been selected and engaged, sponsors should avoid the tendency to remain over-involved or meddle. They should remain available as a resource as agreed, or to be called upon, by the employment service or the newcomer and as friendly support throughout the employment search.



The sponsor or support group can and should talk to the newcomer regularly about his or her experience and progress with the employment service. The group can also support the initiatives of the employment service by offering to help with steps such as:



The sponsor or support group can also provide emotional support and “pep talks”, which can be very beneficial during this potentially stressful and challenging process.


Ideally, if the employment service has identified a potential employment sector for the newcomer and helped him or her prepare to seek employment in that sector, this could be shared with the sponsor group (subject to privacy compliance) to see what opportunities its members can find through their networks.



Here are some areas to think about, in order to collaborate successfully with an employment service: