A relationship is being created between Winnipeg’s business community and Syrian refugees.
Roughly 300 business leaders, politicians and service agencies packed into the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Monday afternoon for a “Welcome to Winnipeg” luncheon.
It allowed refugees to meet with potential employers and for employers to hear the refugee’s stories and understand where they came from.
President of the Chamber of Commerce Dave Angus says he’s enthused by the response of the business community.
But notes the biggest challenge will be matching a person’s skill set with the right job.
“They’re looking at every pool and our immigrant pool to Manitoba has been extremely important for our companies here in the province to grow. We’ve seen that over the last couple of years and this is no different.”
Local business owner Rafiq Punjani moved to Canada from Pakistan and Dubai three years ago.
As a way to give back, he’s donating 1000 professional hours to help newcomers set up their own business.
“We can help these people in doing there business plan and set their business up. Once the business is up and running we can do their book keeping. So we manage the commercial side of the business and they can focus on their trades.”
Punjani thinks the refugee’s biggest challenge will be learning English.
Roughly 3000 Syrian refugees are expected to come to Manitoba by the end of year.