Survey underway to capture immigrant employment data

(Chilliwack) A survey will be launched February 9th to capture information on how immigrants are participating in the Chilliwack economy. In the survey, businesses are asked to respond to a variety of questions about how they recruit, train and retain immigrants, and how many they employ.

An analysis of the survey results will help focus energies on developing a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing local employers through their recruitment and hiring process. The goal will be to develop a set of recommendations to enhance the employment opportunities for newcomers and the experiences of both employers and newcomers.

The survey has been in the planning stages for some months but with the demographics of Chilliwack becoming more diverse, and inclusive of Syrian refugees, its importance has become even more relevant. Beyond responding to humanitarian concerns, Canada has become increasingly reliant on immigrants to bolster its population growth and address critical economic demands that are not otherwise being met.

This project builds on research completed last year that looked at the challenges immigrants face and how connected they are to the Chilliwack community. Results from that research reflected a definite link between issues such as social isolation and language and health barriers and their economic participation in the community. Credentials and the ability to secure work placements and navigate the Canadian workplace all have impact on how successfully immigrants become settled and integrate into the country.

The research project is a partnership of Chilliwack Community Services and University of the Fraser Valley. Results will be highlighted at a Chilliwack Newcomer Connections public forum in March.Funding for the project is being provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Chilliwack Newcomer Connections is one of the more than forty programs offered by Chilliwack Community Services. The agency is an independent local charitable organization with offices downtown and in Sardis. Since 1928 it has provided caring community services to create opportunities with people to make positive change in their lives.

For more information contact:

April Neave

Director, Immigrant and Senior Services

(604) 393 -3251 Ext 237

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