Program changes rules for unpaid immigrant work placements
Charity to redevelop its government funded pre-employment program to comply with labour laws
A Vancouver non-profit that works with new immigrants is redeveloping its government funded pre-employment program to comply with labour laws.
Last week, Starmetro reported that a program at South Vancouver Neighbourhood House refers new immigrants to volunteer opportunities that may help them get experience and land jobs in the future. But some of the volunteer positions were unpaid work placements at forprofit companies, including a Subway restaurant franchise.
Including for-profit companies in the program was an “error,” executive director Zahra Esmail said in an email.
“We will be discontinuing the practice of placing participants with companies immediately, and redeveloping the program to ensure we are in line with labour standards,” Esmail wrote. Esmail said neither the program’s federal funder, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, nor the “placement partners” were to blame, “as it was our responsibility to ensure we were compliant with federal and provincial laws.”
A spokesperson from IRCC said the “contribution agreements” it has with more than 500 organizations stipulate that programs must comply with local laws and bylaws. Toyota Motor Corp. will invest $1 billion in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab Inc., reflecting Chief Executive Akio Toyoda’s view that the company needs to expand beyond making cars to survive.
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