TORONTO, ON – June 1, 2023 Refugees offer an untapped wealth of talent for Canadian employers: this
is the message of #Welcoming Economy for Refugees, a Canada-wide bilingual campaign launched
today to help employers connect with refugees eager to employ their talents in Canada’s workforce.

The month-long campaign is sponsored by the Refugee Jobs Agenda Roundtable, which provides a
platform for employers, employment, and immigrant-serving agencies and government representatives
to work together on increasing refugees’ access to meaningful employment opportunities. The
Roundtable is co-chaired by The Honourable Ratna Omidvar, Rashmi Vohra of TD Bank Group, and Jim
Estill of Danby Appliances.

“Welcoming refugees is a humanitarian investment that can yield huge economic dividends for
Canadians,” says Roundtable Co-chair Jim Estill. “Refugees bring education, experience, and talent –
along with initiative and determination – at a time when businesses are struggling to find and keep
workers. The #Welcoming Economy for Refugees campaign helps employers connect with resources
they need to capitalize on the skills and talents of Canada’s refugees.”

Canadian employers currently face one of the most serious labour shortages in decades, with job
vacancies around 1 million. A declining birth rate, coupled with mass retirements, means that Canada’s
labour force growth will soon be fueled 100 percent by immigration, including refugees. The skills and
experience of refugees represent an untapped economic resource for Canada and a potential new
supply of talent for employers seeking skilled workers.

“The #Welcoming Economy for Refugees campaign can connect business leaders with resources and
tools needed to help build a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive workplace,” says Rashmi Vohra. “Refugees can help fill gaps in the workforce, by bringing professional expertise and a diversity of
knowledge, education and experience.”

“With ever-increasing numbers of refugees, displaced for longer periods of time, it is clear that
businesses have a more important role than ever before in supporting successful integration of refugees
into Canada’s workforce,” says The Honourable Ratna Omidvar.

“Most refugees come to Canada with few financial resources,” The Honourable Ratna Omidvar adds.
“They most often learn a new language and adapt to a new culture. Despite these challenges, research
shows that refugees do not simply benefit from the safety Canada gives them. In fact, refugees embrace
the opportunity that Canada provides to build a better life and become important contributors to the
country’s economy and cultural diversity.”

The #Welcoming Economy for Refugees is a coordinated employer-led national communications
campaign anchored in communicating refugee success stories, exploring the business case for hiring
refugees at levels commensurate with their education, and demonstrating the ways in which refugee
contributions are critical to thriving communities to encourage Canadian employers to hire refugees.
This year, the campaign has over 80 partner organizations. The website
includes practical resources and tools to support employers in their refugee hiring and integration
needs. The campaign also includes a video series featuring some refugee success stories, extensive
social media posts to be shared by campaign partners and will run throughout the month of June and a
Refugee Hiring Event taking place in Moncton, NB on World Refugee Day on June 20, 2023.

Quick Facts:

List of partner organizations:

For more information, contact the Strategic Coordinator of the Refugee Jobs Agenda Roundtable,
Daniel Cervan-Gil, Associate Director, Employer Initiatives, World Education Services.