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For integration to work: Government assisted refugees in BC

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Briefly defined, economic integration is the "gradual process by which new residents become active participants in the economic...affairs of a new homeland” (CCR, 1998). The literature suggests this takes 12-15 years for refugees in Canada (Wilkinson & Garcia, 2017). Government assisted refugees often experience worse outcomes than other newcomers during this period. Several studies have investigated the divergence between groups to identify correlates with better outcomes, but few have evaluated practices that may rectify these differences. This paper attempts to fill this gap by evaluating policies for facilitating the integration of government assisted refugees in British Columbia. Three policy options are presented, which focus on labour market entry, income stability, independence, and skill development as foundations for long- term economic integration. As integration is complex and multifaceted, the options are designed to improve government assisted refugees’ standing within five years rather than tackle all the challenges to integration refugees face.
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