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Hospital’s community partnerships help newcomers get hired


Ayse Ibrahim said she’s proud to work for The Ottawa Hospital, which recently received the Employer Excellence Award from Hire Immigrants Ottawa.

Five years ago, Ayse Ibrahim was working on completing her high school diploma and was hoping to become a pharmacist. She had always loved hospitals and wanted to work in one.

All that changed when she and her family were forced to leave Syria because of the war. She left everything behind, knowing she’d have to start a new life somewhere else.

“When I came to Canada I was scared,” said Ibrahim. “My English was not good. How could I find a job?”

She arrived in Canada just over a year ago and, upon her arrival in Ottawa, was put in touch with an agency to help her find a job. This agency – Hire Immigrants Ottawa – supports and promotes newcomers to Canada and happened to be one that The Ottawa Hospital had partnered with, which is how she came to work for Housekeeping Services.

“I am so glad to be at the hospital,” said Ibrahim. “Everyone that works here respects me. The hospital shows me I am a person and am working a good job for this community to grow, to be a good one.”

She now attends school during the day to complete her General Education Diploma, while working evenings and weekends to support herself and her family.

Working at the hospital has improved her English, through interactions with patients and staff. It’s also helped her decide to attend Algonquin College’s medical radiation technology program so she can continue working at the hospital.

“I’m starting a new life here,” said Ibrahim. “It’s a good experience for me to be at the hospital. I am helping people from my heart.”

The hospital’s partnership with Hire Immigrants Ottawa has also resulted in other newcomers to Canada being hired.

Recently the hospital was awarded the Employer Excellence Award from Hire Immigrants Ottawa for its recruitment and integration of immigrant employees. This includes a new interview process created by the Talent Acquisition Team. The new process integrates a simulation and includes a debrief session for candidates to ask questions and share their opinions about the process.

“I was very proud and honoured that we were recognized for our efforts,” said Andree Kaspardlov, Manager of Talent Acquisition. “The recruitment team is very committed to this and any initiative related to helping newcomers to Canada.”

Celebrate Housekeeping Appreciation Week, June 5 to 9.


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