Last year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced that the Young Newcomers Internship Program would become a permanent program, after a 1-year pilot project proved to be successful. Last week, Canadian immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced that the program would be expanded.

In its first year, the four-month paid internship program was offered to 12 government-sponsored refugees from Sudan, Burma, Somalia, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan.

They were placed in different branches of the department, learning about government operations through job-shadowing.  At the end of the program, managers were so impressed by their interns that seven of them were hired full-time by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

That success led to the program becoming permanent, and now the internships are going to be expanded to other government departments, so that more young newcomers can benefit from it.

“When newcomers succeed, we all succeed. The Young Newcomers Internship Program is an excellent example of how we can help refugees and newcomers overcome one of the key barriers to integration by offering them vital Canadian work experience,” Kenney said.