The Value of Paid or Unpaid Short-term Work Placements for Refugee and Immigrant Youth

MOSAIC-The Value of Paid or Unpaid Short-term Work Placements for Refugee and Immigrant YouthPrepared for the Centre by MOSAIC, this study explores the role and value of a common feature of employment programs, paid and unpaid work placements, in helping refugee and immigrant youth integrate into the Canadian labour market.

This exploratory research was conducted to address a lack of knowledge about this population’s awareness and experience of employment services, and work placement opportunities in particular. The study involved interviews with young people and employers – both of which had participated in work placements, as well as a focus group with employment services practitioners who had supported youth through this approach.

The research findings show that for the group of young people interviewed, work placements were positive experiences, as was the support received from programs and employers to facilitate those opportunities. The researchers found that the majority of interviewed youth believed that their work placements facilitated the development of soft or transferable skills valued by employers as well as outcomes and expectations important for immigrants and refugees.

The report concludes with some specific recommendations for funders, practitioners, employers and researchers interested in supporting work placement opportunities for young immigrants and refugees.

The full paper can be downloaded here (PDF)

An overview of the research findings were presented during a CfEE webinar on Wednesday, September 10, 2014. Click through for a recording of this event and to download the presentation slides.


This paper is one of five studies published by the Centre on various topics concerning youth employment under our research programme, Understanding Current Employment Programming and Services for BC Youth.

For queries about this project or other research activities being undertaken by the BC Centre for Employment Excellence, contact Shawn de Raaf, the CfEE Research Coordinator.