Pilot Project Helps Visible Minority Newcomer Women Find Jobs in Canada

$31.8 million will be allocated to help women who have recently immigrated to Canada find careers

Women who have recently immigrated to Canada have a harder time establishing a career. (submitted)

The Canadian government recently announced a project that will allocate $31.8 million over three years to help visible minority newcomer women in Canada.

According to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), “visible minority newcomer women may face multiple barriers to success, including gender and race-based discrimination, precarious or low income employment, lack of affordable childcare, and weak social supports.”

The IRCC also found that “visible minority women have the lowest median annual income of all newcomer groups at $26,624, compared to non-visible minority newcomer women ($30,074), visible minority newcomer men ($35,574), and non-visible minority newcomer men ($42,591),” and were more likely to be unemployed than other newcomer groups.

The government’s pilot project will consist of three phases. As part of phase one, the IRCC will be providing up to $7 million in funding in the next two years for smaller organizations with unique programs and services that help visible minority newcomer women.

For phase two, the IRCC is providing an additional $5 million in funding to 10 service provider organizations. Two of those organizations are based in British Columbia: the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) and Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC).

The ICA’s services consist of a career mentoring program, a micro-loan program, and an employer program to assistant employers in finding qualified, pre-screened immigrants. The ISSofBC offers an advanced literacy and essential workplace skills program, and a job quest workshop specifically for newcomer women looking for work in Canada.

The final phase consists of determining the effectiveness of these services. This will be measured by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC), which will also use surveys and data sources on service providers such as iCARE to assess project performance. IRCC will also look at different services such as employment counselling, work placements, and mentoring to determine which are most beneficial for helping visible minority newcomer women find and maintain jobs in Canada.

This pilot project also builds on promises made in the government’s budgets from 2017 and beyond to support equal opportunity to thrive in the Canadian economy at large and to establish gender budget initiatives to increase opportunities for women in Canada.