How do sponsors assist a sponsored refugee to apply for a job in Ontario?

Sponsors must explain the process and assist sponsored refugees with applying for jobs in Ontario. This includes helping them prepare a cover letter a resume that shows the sponsored refugee’s education, work history and experience. Sponsors must explain that the main purpose of a resume and cover letter is to get a job interview.

Sponsors must highlight to the sponsored refugees that their cover letter and resume are very important, as the potential employer will form his first impressions on the basis of these documents. Sponsors must explain that everything matters on the cover letter and resume, including spelling and formatting.

Depending on the job, the employer might ask the sponsored refugee for a portfolio or sample of his or her work. Sponsors can assist the sponsored refugee with compiling this.

Sponsors may wish to assist sponsored refugees with navigating job websites and job classifieds, and explain the that job postings have instructions about how to apply, or include information about the different ways to apply.

Where can Sponsors find Job Skills Training Programs for Sponsored Refugees in Ontario?

Sponsoring groups can find job skills training in many places in their local community for sponsored refugees, including:

  • Community organizations;
  • School boards;
  • Libraries;
  • Colleges and universities; and,
  • Private trainers.

Sponsors must explain to sponsored refugees that they may want or need to get some skills training to help them find work in Ontario. For example, they may need to upgrade their skills to re-certify in their profession or trade, or their may want to learn new computer skills.

Many local community agencies have free workshops on computers, customer service and many other job skills.

What employment services are available to sponsored refugees in my community?

Many communities offer free employment services to help sponsored refugees and newcomers to look for a job, plan their career or start their own business.

Assisted services include workshops and one-on-one counselling on various topics, such as:

  • Local labor market information;
  • Career planning and career counselling;
  • Job search techniques;
  • Interview skills and resumes;
  • Job matching and placement; and,
  • Job retention.

As sponsors, you may need show the sponsored refugees how to register for workshops and set up an appointment with an employment counsellor at a settlement agency.

Can I advise a sponsored refugee to sign a contract?

It is advised that sponsors provide as much information and guidance as possible when they are reviewing an employment offer or contract with a sponsored refugee. However, please respect the sponsored refugee’s right to self-determination and decision on whether to accept or refuse a job offer.

How do I explain what a probation period is to a sponsored refugee?

Sponsors are advised to explain to sponsored refugees that a probation period is a “trial period” set by the employer to see if the job is a good match for them and their skills. The length of the probation period varies by company, and is not dictated by Federal or Provincial laws. Sponsors are further advised to explain that if the sponsored refugees is fired after working for more than 3 months, they may be owed termination pay or notice.

Do I have to pay a fee as a sponsor for employment assistance for a sponsored refugee?

The Workers’ Action Center is concerned that “job-finding” agencies take advantage of workers, particularly newcomers to Canada who are looking for work, by charging fees. Sponsors should advise sponsored refugees that they should not pay any money to these agencies. It is recommended that sponsors connect sponsored refugees with their local settlement agency which will be able to provide you and the sponsored refugee with guidance and resources on finding employment.

Should sponsored refugees be paid a minimum wage in Ontario?

Sponsored refugees working in Ontario must be paid the minimum wage in accordance with Federal and Provincial Laws.

Are sponsored refugees permitted to be paid in cash?

A sponsored refugee’s employer, in rare circumstances, may pay them in cash. As sponsors, it is important to advise the sponsored refugee to make sure he or she receives a pay record or pay stub every time they are paid. As sponsors, you must also ensure that the employer is complying with Federal and Provincial laws concerning tax, employment insurance and labor benefits.