Some 90 leading BC employers came together on February 10, 2017, to discuss how to leverage BC’s refugee talent to strengthen our social fabric and contribute to the success of our businesses and our province.
With Quebec City tragedy still fresh in everyone’s hearts and minds, participants looked for ways to respond to the unprecedented changes and challenges of our time.
From a panel discussion of employers who have realized early enough that the refugee talent pool is an asset to their businesses to inspiring stories of new Canadians who came here as refugees, the packed agenda of this 90-minute event was an opportunity for reflection and action.
“Today, for us, is an opportunity to reflect on how we as Canadians, in the face of all that is happening globally, can stand up to protect our fundamental values of diversity and multiculturalism, and work together to strengthen our social fabric. And to remember why, for so many reasons, immigration is good for us for us as a country,” said IEC-BC’s CEO Kelly Pollack at the event.
Current demographic shifts have significant implications for our economy and social fabric. According to the BC 2025 Labour Market Outlook, a whopping 69% of the 934,000 job openings in the next 10 years will be due to retirements, and almost a third of those will have to be filled through immigration.
Since 2015, some 5,000 new Canadians who arrived here as refugees have settled across BC. Before they were refugees, they were engineers, teachers, nurses and journalists. Canada and BC have given them a chance for a new life, and now they are eager to give back – their skills, resilience, and unique perspectives.
A major highlight of the event was the launch of BC Refugees JobConnect – a free online tool developed by IEC-BC to help employers meet their hiring needs while enabling refugees to showcase their skills and experience, and find meaningful employment.
You can access the event media coverage here.