Giving asylum seekers a chance: insights from a pilot employment program

Employment Poverty Refugees Asylum seekers Barriers to work Melbourne Australia

Given the Chance for Asylum Seekers is an employment program for asylum seekers with bridging visas living in Melbourne. Supported by a private philanthropist, the Brotherhood of St Laurence program aims to assist asylum seekers to get into (and stay in) the workforce. The program also works with employers to procure jobs and training opportunities, while advocating for changes to government policies.

As this research report shows, the Given the Chance for Asylum Seekers program has had success in getting many individual asylum seekers into their first jobs. However, it stands out as an exception in a landscape of constrained service access and restrictive visas. Advocacy efforts should continue to address the government policies and employer practices that prevent others from achieving sustainable employment and economic security.

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