More than 30,000 jobs are available for Ukrainian refugees who come to Ontario, the province’s labour minister says.
“We’re continuing to see heartbreaking stories out of the Ukraine. I was in touch this morning with the Federal (Immigration) Minister Sean Fraser and offered again Ontario’s full support to be there for the Ukrainians when they come here,” Monte McNaughton said Tuesday.
“I’m really pleased to say, you know, it speaks to the kind of people that are here in Ontario, that hundreds of employers have stepped up, dozens of labour leaders have stepped up. We now have more than 30,000 jobs waiting for Ukrainians when they come here.”
McNaughton made the remarks at a press conference where he separately announced funding for training and paid apprenticeships for electricians.
McNaughton said the province will be setting up a “dedicated jobs hotline” for employers and unions to list what jobs are available for Ukrainians and then connect refugees with in-demand jobs.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began last month, the United Nations estimates 2.8 million Ukrainians are now refugees, forced to flee to neighbouring countries as millions of others remain as part of the resistance effort.
McNaughton didn’t say specifically how many Ukrainians are expected to come to Ontario.
“Our job is to ensure that we’re here for the Ukrainian people when they get here to ensure that we have translators available, that we have jobs available, that we have places for them to live when they get here,” he said.
“And it’s all hands on deck to make the transition as soon as possible.”
He said he has spoken to many Ontarians who said they would be willing to open up their homes for Ukrainians who come to the province.
— with files from Amanda Connolly