Tips & Leads

Employment services

An explanation of what employment service providers do and the variety of services they offer; a list of the most frequently-mentioned employment services and other non-profit organizations in the GTA which help refugee newcomers prepare for, and find, employment; eligibility to use an employment service; and how a private sponsor or other volunteer can help a newcomer select an employment service and then collaborate with that service.

Elements of an employment strategy

The need for two strategies – one for the private sponsorship group, if any, and one for the newcomer. Look for collaboration and evolution. Topics to consider, from the assignment of responsibilities to the need to learn English, types of work to be considered, mentorship, training, when to start looking, use of an employment service, preparation for a search, and the search itself.

English vs. work in the first year

Rates of advancement to be expected from English language courses; the value of achieving higher CLB levels; countering a desire to drop formal English instruction; use of video to monitor progress; opportunities to practice English with a newcomer at home and to improve English on the job.

Explaining the risks of working ‘under the table’

What newcomers should understand about the disadvantages of working “under the table” in terms of employee rights, taxation, employment insurance, health and other benefits, private sponsorship eligibility, and moral responsibility.

Using the sponsor network to find a job

Suggestions as to various ways that one or more members of a private sponsorship group can be a valuable employment resource, including by personally hiring a refugee newcomer on a full- or part-time basis, lobbying a sponsor’s own employer to make a hire, and accessing personal and professional networks. Even just setting up practice interviews in these ways can be valuable. Also, an encouragement to ensure that all sponsors and the newcomer are on the same page, as to strategy and objectives.