The Government of Canada recently announced its plan to allocate $2.1 million in additional funding for 11 designated programs. These programs are meant to help racialized newcomer women find well-paid employment opportunities.
Why Are These Newcomer Women Programs Needed?
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched the Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot Initiative in 2018 to invest $15 million in 21 projects that will help racialized newcomer women find employment and develop their skills. This pilot was earlier known as the Visible Minority Newcomer Women Project.
According to the government, these women face exceptional barriers and therefore require additional support to succeed in the Canadian job market. Based on the 2016 Census, the unemployment rate of racialized newcomer women is 9.7%. This is 1.2% higher than that of newcomer men.
Racialized newcomer women also have the lowest median annual income of all newcomer groups at $26,624. Non-racialized women can earn up to $30,075, racialized newcomer men can make up to $35,574 while non-racialized newcomer men make up to $42,591.
To reduce this difference, so far, around $31.9 million has been invested by the government in this pilot initiative. This funding has been spread out to over 40 organizations.
Which Programs Were Selected by the IRCC to Help Racialized Newcomer Women?
The project selected by the IRCC will address issues like gender and race-based discrimination, low-income employment, weak social supports, credential recognition, among others. These programs will also help racialized newcomer women develop their skills and abilities to better succeed in the Canadian job market. Additional funding has been provided to the following projects to keep them functional until March 2022:
Young Women’s Christian Association - Vancouver:
This organization offers the Tech Connect for Newcomer Women Project. This project helps women who are internationally trained IT professionals to find employment in Canada that is equivalent to their skills, education, and experience. This project helps them develop an in-depth understanding of the tech sector in Canada and the Canadian workplace environment.
Umoja Operation Compassion Society - Surrey:
This organization offers the Newcomer Digital Connect Project. This project identifies various employment barriers and helps newcomer women overcome these barriers through various activities. Participants are required to attend a 12-week program that will include certain activities to build confidence, develop or improve their computer and soft skills and enter the Canadian workforce.