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Transition into the workforce : economic integration of former government assisted refugees and former refugee claimants

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posted on 23.05.2021, 10:41 by Hila Taraky
While research in the sphere of settlement and integration is wide in scope and subject, it largely focuses on the labour market outcomes and economic integration of skilled immigrants. Such research exemptions do not capture the economic integration of other immigrant classes such as refugees. In light of such research gaps, this study aimed to examine the economic integration of former Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) and former refugee claimants in Hamilton, Ontario. Through a series of four interviews with former GARs and former refugee claimants who are working within Hamilton's social service sector, this study found that the experiences of refugees can be captured by a combination of human capital and social capital frameworks. Similar to skilled immigrants, refugees are better able to transition into professional fields upon enrolling in post-secondary educational institutions, volunteering, and networking with members outside of their own ethno-cultural community. This study also found that immediate settlement supports, offered by the Resettlement Assistance Program, had positive long term affects on the economic integration of GARs. Former refugee claimants did not have such immediate services and as a result had frustrating immediate settlement experiences. It is therefore argued that the RAP mitigates many systematic and structural barriers which otherwise pose as barriers for the economic integration of refugees.





Master of Arts


Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type