Website set up by former refugees connects newcomers with employers

By on February 28, 2017


Omar Rahimi says refugees can find employment through his website, and work on their language skills on the job. (Photo: Hire a Refugee website)
Omar Rahimi says refugees can find employment through his website, and work on their language skills on the job. (Photo: Hire a Refugee website)

WINNIPEG—A former refugee has launched a website aimed at connecting newcomers to Winnipeg with meaningful employment.

Omar Rahimi’s site “Hire A Refugee” connects refugees with people seeking labourers.

He tells CTV Winnipeg that most of the work centres around home maintenance, including painting, furniture moving, demolition and snow shovelling.

Rahimi says he was inspired to launch the project based on his own experience moving to Canada 16 years ago from Iraq.

He says he’s been working since arriving in Canada, but says it’s hard to find a job, though knowing English makes it a little easier.

He says refugees can find employment through his website, and work on their language skills on the job.

“The best way to help them is to find them jobs, and that’s what they want,” he says. “They want to work.”

The website is one of many ways refugees are finding employment in Winnipeg.

About 1,000 refugees came through Manitoba Start’s doors last year. It acts as the gateway for all immigrants in Manitoba looking to enter the workforce.

The organization serves as a central registry to connect immigrants with settlement agencies. Once they have been settled and have developed some English skills, the organization then helps immigrants find employment.

They teach courses in resume preparation and interview skills.

“We also do direct placement here as well, so that’s really useful, and especially when language is still a concern,” says Judith Hayes, executive director of Manitoba Start.

“We can be the intermediary. We don’t just send people out to interview. We actually line up positions.”