Refugees and migrants come to Australia with a wealth of skills, experience and aspirations. They are committed to pursuing employment as a means of ensuring economic security and contributing to their new home. Often these groups have been forced out of their homes due to war and unrest, and many have experienced persecution, unemployment and interrupted schooling. However, they face multiple barriers in applying their skills and experience, and in fulfilling their aspirations, within the Australian labour market.
This report focuses on the barriers faced by refugees and migrants imposed by the main federal employment program, Jobactive. By the term ‘refugees and migrants’, we include those who have been recognised as refugees or have come here under Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program, as well as those who have come on other visas (for example, as family members, skilled workers or students) who come from similar backgrounds and face similar disadvantages.
The findings of this report confirm the need for a targeted approach to address the complex needs of this cohort. This finding is consistent with previous research and with the findings of RCOA’s previous report on employment, What Works.