Starbucks Canada to Help 1,000 Refugees with Employment

May 02, 2018

After the success of youth work program started by Starbucks Canada and Pacific Community Resources Society, Starbucks recently launched another program with Surrey Local Immigration Partnership and Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia to help 1,000 refugees with employment at their cafes and offices. Through the program, Starbucks plans to provide employment to around 1,000 refugees between 2018 to 2022 in the Vancouver and Surrey region, where Starbucks has more than 150 stores.


Luisa Girotto, vice president, public affairs, Starbucks Canada, said that the company chose Surrey and Vancouver because these two cities have the most talent pool, agencies working with talent pools, and density of stores. Starbucks started the Opportunity Youthwork program along with Pacific Community Resources Society around a couple of years ago and had seen a 30 percent greater retention rate after it began, compared to those who haven’t gone through the program.

Girotto has learned that retention and stability are greater than the average and engagement, which is more than the average retention rate. It is like what the old rule says - if you give someone is given the opportunity they don’t get anywhere, they repay you with loyalty and commitment. By Looking at the results, the program has done a great job. Starbucks along with many retail chain giants are facing retention problems.

Hiring immigrants are much better

Patrick MacKenzie, chief executive officer, Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia, has heard from many employers say that hiring immigrants is better for a higher employment rate. At the same time, it also increases workplace diversity. He said that when you work within your own network, you are hiring people who have similar interests like you. But then, you are closing doors for bringing diversity to the workplace.

MacKenzie said that a recent research found that companies that are more diverse make more money than those who have a homogenous group of employees.

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