5 ways for private sponsors and welcome group volunteers to help with employment
Here are five ways that private sponsors and welcome group volunteers can help refugee newcomers find the best work possible:
1. Mentor those in the family whom you are directly supporting.
- Jointly develop an employment plan, with objectives and strategies;
- Discuss the many work-related topics we have identified, helping to inform, assess opportunities, stay on strategy, monitor progress, and re-assess plans, as well as provide feedback and encouragement;
- Identify and help teach sector-specific, English vocabulary;
- Help prepare for the employment search, including identifying skills, education, and experience for a resume, practicing interview skills, and monitoring follow-up to applications and interviews;
- Explain the role of, and help to identify and select, an employment service, if one is to be used (and help the newcomer assess whether the service is doing a good job); and
- Post-hire, continue to provide support, addressing questions and concerns that may arise, providing encouragement, helping to ensure that minimum expectations are being met, and suggesting initiatives to remain on track toward long-terms objectives.
2. Directly hire a member of the family whom you are supporting.
- If you have your own business or are in a hiring position within an organization, consider offering a job, yourself.
- The offer could be for full-time or part-time work.
- Facilitate continued learning of English on the job, if possible.
3. Use your network to find employment.
- Put out the word to other members of your sponsorship or welcome group and to your customers, suppliers, fellow association members, union, co-workers, friends, and family, to help find employment. (See article on “Using the sponsor network to find a job“.)
- These network contacts can also be used to set up practice interviews.
4. Collaborate with an employment service.
- If a decision is made to use an employment service, help to select one.
- Consider attending a first meeting to present an overview of the employment-related discussions and preparation that has taken place to date;
- Provide the employment service with any material you have helped to prepare to date, including any completed or partial employment plan and resume;
- Offer to continue collaborating in terms of some of the roles suggested above, under mentoring;
- Suggest, if appropriate, that the newcomer waive confidentiality in order for information to be shared with you; and
- Offer, once the employment service and newcomer have established or confirmed employment objectives and have prepared for a job search, to use your network to help secure employment offers.
5. Help get your company or industry to launch a refugee employment initiative.
- Advocate to senior management and HR departments to establish objectives for hiring a stated number of refugee newcomers, whether or not anyone in the family whom you are directly supporting would be interested and eligible.
- Advocate or take the lead in establishing a bridge program to train and prepare refugee newcomers for employment in your industry, incorporating English language instruction, skills training, internships, and leads to employment offers.