March 8th, 2017
Gassan Muhammed arrived for his shift as a security guard at St. John’s City Hall last week. While this sounds like any other day for many workers across the country, this was a special day for Gassan, as it was his first day on the job in his new home: Canada.
Gassan is a participant of the Syrian Refugee Employment Initiative Program, established by Commissionaires Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) CEO Jim Lynch to ensure that Syrian refugees can effectively adjust to their new lives with meaningful employment.
Over the past year and a half, Canada has welcomed over 25,000 Syrian refugees who are fleeing their war-torn country. Hundreds arrived in Newfoundland and Labrador. Sponsors have helped ensure that they are welcomed with the right tools and resources to adjust to life in Canada. This includes finding a good job in which they can thrive.
Commissionaires NL has partnered with clients, seeking their support and participation in the initiative to provide training and places of employment. As part of the program, participating clients have agreed to pay for one shift per week for the six-month pilot. This will help cover the costs of translators or other elements that may be required to help new employees adjust to the environment.
Refugees in the program complete the same security officer’s training and first-aid courses, with the help of Arabic translators, as all employees are required to do. They also receive English training. Commissionaires NL is committed to ensuring they are fully trained and uniformed for the job, helping them build a comprehensive resume to attract future employers.
Finding meaningful employment is something many Canadians strive for, but it can be difficult for those who are new to the area and still getting used to their new life. Along with their clients, Commissionaires NL is helping Syrian refugees make Canada their new home.