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Making the most of the skills of migrants and refugees

2 min read
migrants and refugees

An innovative new employment initiative aims to support professionally and technically qualified migrants and refugees into jobs that match their skills. 

Formally launched by Victoria’s Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education The Hon. Gayle Tierney, ‘Settling Into Work’ (SIW) is a new social enterprise that aims to match skilled migrants and refugees with employers looking for skilled and experienced staff. 

Created by migrant and refugee settlement agency AMES Australia, SIW aims to help employers understand the unique expertise, resilience and value – forged through their refugee and migrant journeys – which new arrivals bring to the workplace. 

“This work continues to make a positive difference to people across the state and has vital social, cultural and economic benefits to Victoria,” said Minister Tierney.  

The initiative also aims to support newly arrived migrants and refugees to overcome the considerable barriers they face in re-establishing professional careers in Australia.     

For migrant and refugee job seekers, SIW offers tailored job search assistance, career guidance and post-placement support to ensure candidates are well-prepared to succeed in their new jobs. 

“SIW is a genuine and calculated initiative to help match sympathetic and agile employers with newly arrived migrants and refugees starting their journey in the Australian workforce in roles and in organisations that match their ability and ambition,” said Cath Scarth, AMES Australia CEO.  

For employers, SIW connects them with qualified, skilled candidates as well as offers a range of training tools and pathways for their wider workforces. 

Scarth highlighted that SIW was a game changer when it comes to employment outcomes for professionally qualified refugees and migrants. 

“We’ve all heard the stories of migrant and refugee surgeons, engineers and architects driving taxis. SIW is a response to this egregious waste of talent. It will provide benefits for individual migrant and refugee candidates but also for the broader Australian economy.” 

“And it’s a certified social enterprise, so it’s here to make a difference, not just a profit,” she added.  

Migrant business improvement professional Vishal Sharma said receiving guidance and support about Australia’s job market workplace culture was crucial to him being able to re-establish his career in Australia. 

“When I connected with AMES through the Skilled Professional Migrant Program it gave me clarity and direction and led to me being able to find a first job in Australia. Since then, I have progressed into more senior jobs,” he said. 

“We’re proud to support AMES and the critical work they do in delivering accredited and pre-accredited training opportunities for their community,” added Minister Tierney. 

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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