International recruitment of refugees

International recruitment of refugees

< Back to Articles | Topics: Guest Post | Contributors: Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration | Published: April 4, 2023

Mahone Bay is gearing up to welcome 28 new residents, with a possibility of 26 more. These newcomers, currently refugees in Kenya, will work as Continuing Care Assistants (CCAs) with MacLeod Cares, owners of 12 long-term care facilities in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.

The company is building a new facility to replace the existing one in Mahone Bay, with the new facility able to accommodate 35 more residents than the old one. Doug Stephens, General Manager for Human Resources at MacLeod Cares, said the larger capacity means they need to double the workforce.

Stephens said that after doing their traditional recruiting through advertising, social media, employer referrals, and partnering with educational facilities in Nova Scotia, they still didn’t have all the workers they needed.

“We knew international recruitment would have to be part of our strategy,” he said.

Stephens turned to the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP). Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched the program so that refugees could gain permanent residency in Canada through existing economic immigration programs. Nova Scotia has two such programs: the Nova Scotia Nominee Program and the Atlantic Immigration Program. Normally, to qualify for these programs, an applicant must have legal status in their home country. EMPP does away with that requirement — opening the door to refugees.

“Refugees have excellent skills and experience,” said Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. “We want employers in Nova Scotia to be able to match with their talent if it meets the needs of their workforce and the needs of the individuals looking to make Nova Scotia home.”

Jennifer L’Esperance, Senior Executive Director of the Immigration and Population Growth (IPG) branch of Nova Scotia Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration, said the program opens up new pools of talent for Nova Scotia employers.

“EMPP is part of our strategy to grow the province’s population to two million by 2060 through immigration and interprovincial migration,” said L’Esperance. “Settlement in Nova Scotia is a key part of our attraction and retention plan. We know that if people don’t stay, we’re not able to meet our goals.”

And the people of Mahone Bay seem excited to welcome the newcomers, if a recent community engagement session is any indication. MacLeod Group hosted the event to ensure the community understands their role in the settlement process.

The audience was moved to sign-up for a series of tasks to support the new families, including moving, drivers, and donations of used furniture, with some even offering to give lessons to make Hodge-Podge — a Nova Scotia staple.

Last October, L’Esperance and Stephens, among others, visited refugee camps in Kenya on a recruitment mission. Stephens said he had already hired 28 refugees from the camps before the mission and offered jobs to 26 upon returning to Nova Scotia.

“MacLeod Group is committed to leading and rallying the community in welcoming these new residents and providing everything they need to make Mahone Bay their new forever home.”

< Back to Articles | Topics: Guest Post

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