Canadian business leaders take action on refugee crisis
TORONTO, February 7, 2019 – Executives of leading companies, including McCain Foods, IKEA Canada, and TD Bank Group, today announced new commitments to support refugees in Canada, highlighting the vital role for the business community in addressing the refugee crisis. The commitments came as part of the Tent Partnership’s first-ever Canadian Business Summit.
“Companies have the greatest impact when they treat refugees not as victims, but as assets – as workers, suppliers, entrepreneurs and customers,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder of the Tent Partnership for Refugees. “We are so proud to see Canadian business leaders making concrete commitments that will help refugees become productive, integrated members of this community.”
“We know helping refugees is not only the right thing to do, we also know it strengthens our business,” said Michael Ward, President of IKEA Canada, one of several companies that made a commitment today. “Not only are we able to offer refugees new career opportunities and job training, it provides IKEA with the possibility to discover and recruit new talent, expand our diverse co-worker base and contribute to our role in creating a positive impact on the local community.”
At the Summit, business leaders discussed the opportunities and business case for Canadian companies to harness the skills and talents of the more than 100,000 refugees that have arrived to Canada since 2015, with the goal of strengthening and diversifying their workforce and supply chains and building a more prosperous country.
“With Canada now doing more than any other country in the world to resettle refugees, the Canadian business community has a vital role to play,” said Gideon Maltz, Executive Director of the Tent Partnership for Refugees. “The commitments today showed practical ways that companies can help refugees, help their own businesses, and help Canada in the long run.”
The Summit featured the following commitments:
- McCain Foods will hire 125 refugees in full time, hourly, and temporary positions across its operations in Canada by 2024. To do so, McCain is partnering with local agencies inToronto, Mississauga, Brampton and Manitoba to match refugee candidates with positions.
- IKEA Canada will implement the national rollout of their refugee employment initiative, which will provide job training and employment for 250 refugees at IKEA locations across Canada by the end of 2021.
- Danby Appliances will hire 400 refugees in Canada by 2023, to include full-time and part-time employment, apprenticeships and internships. This effort is part of Danby’s Ease into Canada program, which aims to help refugee newcomers enter the Canadian workforce and integrate into their new communities.
- TD Bank Group: As part of TD’s commitment to open doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow, TD will launch an internal executive task force on refugees which will build on TD’s work to date providing access to financial services, employment and financial education to new Canadians. Over the next ten months, the task force will take a thoughtful and purposeful approach, engaging senior leaders across the bank to develop a deeper understanding of the issues facing refugees today, and deliver a strategy that accelerates refugee integration and success in their new communities.
- KPMG will hire 50 refugee newcomers in Canada by 2022. KPMG will partner with local organizations to identify refugee talent that aligns with the company’s business needs.
- Peace by Chocolate will hire 50 refugees by 2022 at its facilities across Canada. In addition, Peace by Chocolate will provide mentorship and guidance to 10 refugee startups to develop their business and help four refugee businesses access new markets through Peace by Chocolate’s distribution and retailing networks.
- Linkedin: As part of its Welcome Talent program, LinkedIn has partnered with Jumpstart: Refugee Talent and is providing it with 800 LinkedIn Learning subscriptions, in addition to support from LinkedIn’s employees and Canadian network. The goal of the partnership is to help Jumpstart train and connect 2,300 professional refugee job-seekers with mentors in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary by 2021.
- Sodexo will hire 300 refugees across its global operations by 2020. In Canada, Sodexo will hire 20 refugees in the first year and work with local partners to identify qualified refugee candidates to work in facilities, such as universities and hospitals.
- The Hotel Association of Canada, on behalf of hotels across the country and in partnership with Tourism HR Canada, will implement the Destination Employment pilot project, which aims to assist up to 1,300 newcomers, including refugees, with training and employment opportunities in the hotel industry in five regions across Canada.
These companies joined Tent’s global coalition of 120 businesses supporting refugees. The Tent platform helps businesses identify best practices and learn from each other. The full list of Tent partners can be found here.