Ministers Bardish Chagger (left) and Ahmed Hussen (right) after announcing the new pilot project. (Source: Twitter)

Finding employment is a struggle for many newcomers and refugees to Canada. In efforts to match newcomers to jobs, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Ministry of Small Business and Tourism have started a pilot program that will provide employment across Canada in the hotel industry. Also joining the project are Tourism HR Canada and the Hotel Association of Canada.

Almost $7 million from IRCC is going to Tourism HR Canada, funding 3 years of the employment project. 1,300 newcomers – many being refugees – will be granted employment in the hotel sector, gaining valuable Canadian experience. It’s also important that newcomers will learn language skills on the job, pairing informal learning with a formal training supplement as part of the program.

“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,” says Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.

Tourism is a huge asset to Canada’s economy, but an issue to hotels is finding enough employees to keep the industry thriving. This pilot program will address both the lack of employees for hotels and lack of jobs for newcomers. In addition to the temporary pilot program, sustainable long-term hotel jobs for newcomers will be created in five locations: Atlantic Canada, Southern Ontario, Saskatoon/Regina, Banff/Lake Louise/Southern Alberta, and the Yukon.

“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,” says Susie Grynol, President of the Hotel Association of Canada.

“Refugees don’t just want our help. They want to contribute, with their energy and talents, to our society and economy,” – Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

This announcement was coupled with World Refugee Day on June 20, a day to reflect on the importance of helping those who are displaced, persecuted and most in need of protection. Welcoming in refugees is a part of Canada’s tradition and helping newcomers settle in has helped Canada build its society, culture and economy in long-lasting and enduring ways.