TORONTO — In response to the conflict and violence in Afghanistan, the CEO of Paramount Fine Foods, Mohamad Fakih, is committed to welcoming new refugees to Canada and helping them find stable work.
Fakih has a history working with refugees. Starting in 2016, he hired nearly 100 Syrian refugees to work across 20 Paramount Fine Food locations throughout Ontario. This year, Fakih has committed to hiring newcomers at his companies in the restaurant, roofing and building sector, so they can develop hands-on skills.
“One of the largest barriers that new Canadians face is getting ready for the job market and finding an employer who’s willing to give them a chance,” says Fakih. “Mentorship, support and compassion are important to new refugees as they move across the world to start a new chapter in their life. And for Canada, refugees are a gift, crucial for the growth of our country in every way. I know that when I hire a recent refugee, their new ideas and energy make them an instant asset for the business.”
“Mohamad Fakih was a big help in our efforts to sponsor and settle Syrian refugees and we are delighted to see him step up again” says Wendy Cukier, co-founder of Lifeline Afghanistan. “Employment is so critical not just for economic and social inclusion but for physical and mental health. We know from research and our experience in re-settling hundreds of Syrian refugees that it’s important to have committed employers willing to provide training and jobs. We’re working, in collaboration with partners, including the Future Skills Centre, on ensuring we have programs in place to support skills assessment, development and utilization for Afghan newcomers across the spectrum of educational background and experience.”