Finding employment can be a difficult and lengthy process.
Putting together a resume, writing a cover letter, finding the right places to search, applying for jobs and then attending interviews can all add up to a nightmare.
But imagine having to do all this with limited English language skills?
This is a reality for many living in Melbourne.
Limited English language skills are just one of the barriers to employment faced by refugees and humanitarian entrants within our community.
Many are struggling financially and are unable to cover the costs of basic needs and housing, so finding money for short courses or other educational pathways to employment is out of the question.
Access to transport is limited by those without driving experience, a licence or a car.
Mental health issues, trauma, and family relationship changes and issues can mean that individuals are unable to find suitable work.
And unfortunately the reality for some is that their qualifications and work experience are not recognised within Australia.
Employment means more than just financial stability.
Employment provides community connectedness and human meaning, additional to economic security.
At CatholicCare we understand the importance of employment for refugees, as well as the barriers they face in finding employment.
Our Job Readiness program has supported refugees to secure employment or commence study pathways to employment for many years, and we’re continuing to support refugees through our expanded Job Readiness program. The program provides a level of support for refugees and asylum seekers that is hard to come by - the one-to-one intensive nature of the work is something that isn’t readily available elsewhere.
“Only through your program, I was able to get into this position. Thank you.”
- Zo, Job Readiness Program participant
Job Readiness program expansion
Since July 2019, employment assistance for refugees at CatholicCare has been provided through a new three-year federal government grant called Settlement Engagement Transition Support (SETS). This meant that elements of our old Job Readiness program were now covered under the SETS program funding, but some highly effective components of Job Readiness were not – such as group training and the building of connections with potential employers.
To address this gap in service delivery, we have been able establish the Job Readiness program at three different sites across Greater Melbourne - in Dandenong, Epping and Footscray.
In the past six months we’ve supported 55 clients through the program across all three sites. This is already 73% of our intake target for the year - a promising result for the expansion of the project.
Of the 55 participants currently engaged in the program, 62% have secured employment, a training pathway position or an employment placement. Additional to this, through pre and post measurement with the participants, we’ve seen a 21% increase in their wellbeing measures. This shows that involvement in the Job Readiness Program has had a positive impact on their wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem.
The Job Readiness program will continue to grow and develop over the next few months with new group workshops in development for participants. Learn more about the Job Readiness program here.
The expansion of this program would not have been possible without the foresight and support of the Noel and Carmel O’Brien Family Foundation.
Liz Gellel, Communications Coordinator