TalentLift: Paving the way for talent within refugee populations to join the Canadian workforce

In an era where global displacement is growing, innovative solutions are crucial to support people living in refugee situations to find secure futures. One of these innovations is the use of skilled visas for those with qualifications who wish to advance their careers and relocate alongside their families.

TalentLift is at the forefront of this emerging solution in Canada. A unique, non-profit international recruitment agency, TalentLift is dedicated to supporting employers across Canada to hire talented individuals from refugee communities. It has proven a remarkable solution for employers that need in-demand skills, that can fill these roles while making a major impact in the lives of their new employees – by supporting them to leave a refugee situation and relocate to Canada.

This powerful approach to recruitment recognizes the immense potential and skills individuals living in refugee situations can bring to the Canadian workforce. To implement this work, TalentLift is a partner of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as well as the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and other partners, and supports employers and the candidates they hire to leverage a new visa pathway that is swift and seamless under Canada’s Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP).

The Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot is an innovative government initiative that seeks to support many more people to immigrate to Canada from refugee situations, by using the space and demand within Canada’s skilled visa system and economy.

The co-founder of TalentLift, Dana Wagner, calls the visa program “pioneering.” She said, “Canadian employers have an opportunity to have a major impact, all while filling in-demand roles with remarkable new colleagues looking to contribute in their new teams and communities.”

Employers working with TalentLift have found mechanics, engineers, nurses, software developers, cooks, and many other talented professionals. Candidates may be from Venezuela, Cuba, Afghanistan, Syria, and other parts of the world facing conflict and repression. All are currently in a refugee situation and keen for an opportunity.

For individuals facing these displacement challenges, this opportunity represents much more than just a new job, but the realization of a secure future for themselves and their families. Josh is a TalentLift candidate who relocated with a job in tech after living displaced in Trinidad and Tobago. He arrived in Canada under the EMPP and called it a “dream.”

The opportunity to rebuild their lives in a new country where their skills and experiences are not only needed but also highly valued, is what drives people like Josh to register with TalentLift. There are now more than 20,000 candidates registered on the talent platform alone, and the TalentLift team has far wider reach to target specific talent searches thanks to its global partnerships. Many thousands of those registered with TalentLift are living in refugee situations in Latin America and the Caribbean. They represent an underleveraged talent pool that is full of potential and now accessible to hiring teams in Canada.

These talented individuals bring diverse experiences and perspectives, resilience, and adaptability to the workforce. By opening their doors to displaced talent, Canadian companies are better positioned to drive innovation and strengthen their competitiveness.

People living in refugee situations and interested Canadian employers can learn more about this life-changing initiative on the TalentLift website. Additionally, detailed information about the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot can be found on the Government of Canada’s website.

Latincouver is honored to collaborate with TalentLift towards seeing many more talented people from displacement situations in Latin American countries use their skills to relocate to Canada. This is a shining example of how organizations can come together to make a real difference in the world. It is an inspiring model of compassion, innovation, and mutual benefit, paving the way for a better future for both refugee populations and the Canadian workforce.

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