Employment pathways for refugees

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) will target refugees and asylum seekers to fill training positions in skills shortage areas.

 The ACT has altered the eligibility criteria for their Australian Apprenticeships and Skilled Capital programs to make them automatically eligible to refugees and asylum seekers on temporary and bridging visas.

 This announcement follows the ACTs inclusion last October in the Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) Scheme that allows people who travelled to Australia without a visa to work and study in specified regional parts of the country.

 Minister for Multicultural Affairs Rachel Stephen-Smith said, “Permanent humanitarian visa holders now have access to ACT Government subsidised apprenticeships, traineeships and Skilled Capital qualifications.

“Australian Apprenticeships combine paid work and study towards a nationally recognised qualification, while Skilled Capital subsidises training and work experience for eligible post-school job seekers and existing workers in qualifications likely to improve employment outcomes.

 “Both programs also subsidise support services, such as language, literacy and numeracy skills. They ensure students accessing training receive the help they need to successfully complete their chosen qualification, giving them the best opportunity to participate fully in our community.

 Minister Stephen-Smith welcomed the changes and said the new measure aligned with the ACT Government’s 2016 election commitments to support refugee and asylum seekers looking for employment and maintain Canberra’s reputation as a refugee welcome zone.

 “These changes will better prepare refugees and asylum seekers to find work or build a business in skills-shortage occupations within the ACT and ultimately create flow-on economic benefits,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.