More than a year after landing in Canada, many Syrian refugees are still having trouble integrating, according to government data and researchers who have studied the issue.
In comparison to government-sponsored refugees, privately sponsored newcomers tend to fare much better in the short term in language acquisition and job integration, Dawn Edlund of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said Thursday.
She said that while more than half of the privately sponsored Syrian refugees who arrived before March 2016 have found work, only 10 per cent of government-sponsored refugees have done so.
"The integration journey that people are on has various aspects to it, and Syrian refugees, whether privately sponsored or government-sponsored, are on that exact same pathway," she told The Canadian Press in an interview.
"I don't know if I identify that as a gap. It's a similar pathway that we've seen resettled refugees travel before."
Edlund was among the first presenters at a multi-day conference in Montreal that is bringing together speakers from academia, government and social-services organizations to discuss how best to integrate newcomers over the long term.
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