Safe Employment Integration of Recent Immigrants and Refugees

Agnieszka Kosny, Basak Yanar, Momtaz Begum, Dina Al-khooly, Stephanie Premji, Morgan A. Lay, Peter M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This study examined the employment preparation and work experiences of recent immigrants and refugees in Ontario, Canada, to determine key resource needs and opportunities related to safe work integration. In-depth interviews were conducted with 22 service providers, program developers, and policy-makers from the immigration and employment fields. Eighteen focus groups were held with 110 recent immigrants and refugees who were looking for work or who had recently found work. An exploratory qualitative approach was used to collect and analyze the data. First jobs were often characterized by precarity and poor working conditions. Most recent immigrants and refugees had little knowledge about their rights at work and were not sure what to do when mistreated or were asked to do something unsafe at work. The settlement and employment programs that included occupational health and safety information were not systematic and were hindered by a lack of consistent funding and diffusion of responsibility. We identify optimal points in the settlement process where information can be provided, and some of the roles that can be played most effectively by service agencies, regulatory bodies, and employers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-827
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of International Migration and Integration
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Employment
  • Immigrants
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Refugees

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