Program connects refugees to jobs including trucking

The federal government has introduced a new pilot project to connect skilled refugees to in-demand jobs including truck driving.

Beginning this summer employers can tap into the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP), which pairs refugees and other qualified people to Canadian employers facing labor shortages in key occupations. Over the next few years, the program will welcome 2,000 qualified refugees and other displaced people.

The program also allows people who need international protection to apply.

“Canada is a global leader in helping skilled refugees connect with employers struggling to find workers in critical areas, while giving newcomers the opportunity to restart their careers and their lives here in Canada,” said Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser.

“This is a great program which seeks to protect refugees in need of help, while connecting them with employers who have in-demand jobs available,” said Stephen Laskowski, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance. “This program will keep Canada moving by addressing acute labour shortages in critical sectors, while safeguarding potential new workers to Canada who are most at risk.

“There’s an abundance of opportunity in the trucking industry and we look forward to working with Minister Fraser to ensure these people find stable and meaningful work in our sector.”

Seven NGOs help connect overseas refugees to employers. Once candidates receive a job offer, they can apply to immigrate to Canada through existing economic programs. The relevant province, territory or community then approves an application, which allows candidates to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for permanent residence.

Most applications are expected to be processed within six months, while other steps are waiving various fees, making it easier to validate work experience, and let candidates tap into loans for travel costs and settlement needs.