The clock is ticking down on when some Syrian refugees living in B.C. will lose their federal financial support.
Under the resettlement assistance program, federal income support is available to Syrian refugees, but only for a maximum of one year.F
That means those who came to B.C. last year, and aren’t yet employed, will be forced to apply for welfare.
Others, like Hamed Alshhadat, a Syrian refugee living in Surrey who arrived in December, are working and able to support their families.
He speaks through a translator.
“For him it is not a concern right now because they told him after the three month probation they will increase the hourly rate, and he doesn’t have that much expenses right.”
Hamed got the job through a joint partnership between MOSAIC and the BC Alliance of Manufacturing.
Program manager Cormac O’Reilly says demand for the employment support program is high.
“Most of the jobs will be more like entry level manufacturing type jobs like production worker for example, most of the jobs don’t require a lot of English, it’s just more of an opportunity for a new refugee to get a first step into getting Canadian work experience here in Canada.”
But support workers say some refugees are turning down entry-level jobs because they want to stay in the same line of work as in Syria.
Two hundred government-assisted refugees settled in Metro Vancouver between November and December of last year.