Refugees Want to Work

Last year the Edmund Rice Centre released a report detailing the experience of refugees seeking meaningful work in Australia.


The report, 'Refugee Employment Experiences: Struggles, Strategies, and Solutions' highlights the stories and perspectives of several Refugee Jobseekers. Through work, they hope to rebuild their lives in Australia, contribute to their new society and earn a level of income that will enable them to participate more fully in Australian society.

“And to be honest, it’s affected me so badly. I am so distressed mentally that I so desperate. I don’t even want the money, but as long as somebody can give me a job, not paid even, because I don’t feel good in myself because I’m not working.” - A Refugee Jobseeker feeling the impact of being unable to work in Australia

From the Edmund Rice Centre:

The report highlights the refugee perspective on working and looking for work by listening to what refugees themselves say about their job seeking efforts and their experiences in the Australian labour market. The report calls for several changes in how refugees are supported to find employment, including: moving away from the generalist Jobactive model to the provision of more tailored support, shifting the focus of employment support programs from providing training opportunities to creating opportunities to work, and addressing the systemic discrimination refugees face in the labour market.


The report also highlights the role of the refugee community itself as an active and frequently effective provider of support to refugee jobseekers and calls on the service sector to engage more meaningfully with the refugee community as an equal partner in employment support provision. It is hoped that the recommendations proposed by this study will be used to inform relevant stakeholders, including Government and the community sector, and to improve policies and services for achieving better employment outcomes for refugees.