Information and resource needs of newcomers to help ensure their safe integration into the labour market

Reasons for the study

Settlement and integration involves helping recent immigrants and refugees find work and become economically solvent. Yet many newcomers end up in “survival jobs” that are precarious, physically demanding and expose workers to hazards. While “welcome materials” and settlement programs help newcomers find employment, few offer guidance on employment rights, employer responsibilities and how to stay safe at work. This project examines the employment preparation process of newcomers in Ontario and aims to determine key training and resource needs and opportunities related to safely integrating recent immigrants and refugees into the Canadian labour market.

Objectives of the study

  • To conduct key informant interviews with service providers and policy-makers in the immigration and labour fields, and to conduct focus groups with recent immigrant and refugees
  • To examine the experiences of newcomers who are looking for work and who are in their first jobs in Canada
  • To examine the role that settlement organizations play in the work integration of newcomers
  • To determine the scope of current employment and occupational health and safety programming aimed at newcomers
  • To determine the needs of recent immigrants and refugees related to safe integration into the Ontario labour market

Anticipated results/impact

This project will provide important information to social service agencies and government bodies about resource and service gaps and strategies to safely integrate recent immigrants and refugues into the Ontario labour market.

Related interviews and articles

Project status


Research team

Agnieszka Kosny, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
Basak Yanar, Institute for Work & Health
Momtaz Begum, Institute for Work & Health
Dina Al-Khooly, Institute for Work & Health
Stephanie Premji, McMaster University

Participating organizations

Access Alliance
Brampton Multicultural Centre
KEYs Employment Centre
Skills for Change

Funded by

Ontario Ministry of Labour, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council