igility/Health Association Nova Scotia (HANS) made one of the first endeavours to scale up the Economic Mobility Pathway Pilot (EMPP) this year with a unique mission to Kenya to recruit continuing care assistants. Nova Scotia requires a large number of healthcare workers—specifically to help fill critical labour needs and provide education and healthcare services for the growing population. The goal of this mission was to build a strong candidate pool of skilled refugees to bring to Nova Scotia.
What is EMPP?
The Economic Mobility Pathways Project (EMPP) was launched in 2018 through the Government of Canada to combine refugee resettlement and economic immigration, in support of Canada’s approach to refugee labour mobility.
The EMPP has two key objectives:
- Support Canadian employers to access a new source of skilled labour to fill in-demand occupations needs across Canada.
- Provide a durable solution for skilled refugees that is based on their employment skills and qualifications.
About the Mission
On October 8, 2022, the igility/HANS recruitment team travelled to Kenya in collaboration with The Shapiro Foundation, RefugePoint, NSIPG, and OPHR to interview over 100 healthcare professionals eligible to come to Nova Scotia to work under this pathway. During the visit, the recruitment team met with close to 100 EMPP candidates living in Nairobi, as well as in refugee camps located in Kenya such as Dadaab and Kakuma. The team provided 65 of these candidates with conditional job offers at once—this is an achievement that has never been done before. These offer recipients will now be matched with continuing care employers in Nova Scotia for official job offers!
2022 has been significant for healthcare recruitment as this was the first trip under the EMPP program, and the third international trip since March of this year. Nova Scotia, through the Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration has been a leading provincial partner in this initiative and has innovative programming that allow employers to utilize this recruitment option.
The EMPP requires a job offer and allows employers to use existing economic immigration pathways for skilled refugees. These skilled refugees can immigrate based on their qualifications that meet the employer’s labour needs, rather than using refugee resettlement programs. This is also a huge milestone for those who have been living at refugee camps their whole lives.
Not only has this program brought many skilled healthcare workers into our province, but it also opens the door for potential training opportunities in the future for those who don’t yet have a background in continuing care.