Queen's Career Gateway Program

The Queen’s Career Gateway Program creates employment pathways and learning opportunities at Queen’s University for individuals who experience vulnerable situations within the Kingston community, particularly newcomers to Canada, refugees, and individuals belonging to equity-deserving groups with limited English language skills.

Program participants develop in-demand skills as casual Cleaners, positioning them as viable candidates for future opportunities at Queen's. The Program helps to remove barriers to employment for individuals who experience vulnerable situations who may not have educational credentials. While a high school diploma is not required to apply, it is required that participants be at Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) level 3.


“I recently applied for a new position at the university, and I got it. If you were wondering if the Career Gateway Program works, let me tell you that it does as it gave me the courage and confidence to apply.”

Luis Herrera
Program Participant

"By attending this program, I learnt things I did not know before. I saw places [I] didn’t see before. I got information I did not know before."

"I would recommend to others because I want others to receive the same opportunities [that] I have."

Program Participants

Parallel with on-the-job experience, language training for employees is provided by Queen’s School of English. The Program includes paid release time from work to attend language training for non-native speakers, specifically focusing on language for the workplace, and related training content.

The Queen’s Career Gateway Program is the first of its kind in the Canadian higher education sector. The program aligns with the university’s Strategic Goal #5: Embedding Queen’s in the community and increases the university’s social impact by strengthening its local partnerships within the community.

Furthermore, the program supports the university’s commitment to building a more diverse workplace by providing equitable opportunities for employment. It aligns with Goals 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Piloted within Facilities' Custodial Support Services (CSS) team, the program has now expanded to include Residences.

Contact us

In the News

Shortlisted for the Governor General's Innovation Awards

The Queen’s Career Gateway Program was nominated and shortlisted for the Governor General's Innovation Awards. The Awards recognize and celebrate outstanding Canadian individuals, teams and organizations for innovations that are truly exceptional, transformative, and positive in their impact on quality of life in Canada.

2022 Queen's Special Recognition for Staff Award

The Queen’s Career Gateway Program Planning Team was the recipient of the 2022 Queen's Special Recognition for Staff Award. Presented jointly by Human Resources and the Principal’s Office, the award recognizes staff whose dedication and creativity contribute to the inclusive atmosphere of the university. Learn more about the Award in this Gazette article.

End-of-Year Celebration

The end-of-year celebration for the first cohort of the Queen's Career Gateway Program highlighted the participants' journeys and new skills learned. Hosted by the Queen's School of English and the Office of the Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration), the event marked the successful completion of the program's first year, which was the result of extensive collaboration that fostered cross-campus and community connections. Read the Gazette article here



This program is sponsored by the Office of the Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) in collaboration with Queen's School of English, Facilities, Residences, the Human Rights and Equity OfficeHuman Resources, ReStart Employment Services, and Immigrant Services Kingston and Area (ISKA).


Queen's School of English logo in colour

For 80 years, the Queen’s School of English has provided outstanding student support, a well-researched curriculum, and exceptional instruction.


ReStart Employment Agency Logo

ReStart provides a wide range of employment services for both job seekers and employers in the Kingston Area through its strong networks with community partners.