Corporates join government’s $6.83 million per year refugee training initiative

by Brett Henebery29 May 2017
The NSW Government’s $27m Refugee Employment Support Program has received a boost after major Australian corporations announced they would back the initiative.
They include Telstra, Harvey Norman, NRMA, Australia Post, First State Super, Business Council of Australia, Clubs NSW, Crescent Wealth, Henry Davis York, IAG, Master Builders Association of NSW and TransUrban.
The four-year initiative, which was co-developed by the AMP Foundation – will offer internships, scholarships, training and pilot mentoring programs  to help up to 6,000 refugees and 1,000 asylum seekers find work.
NSW Coordinator-General for Refugee Resettlement, Peter Shergold, said the State Government has committed $6.83m per year over the next four years to help refugees and asylum seekers move into the skilled workforce.
“Both the government and the corporate sectors involved have shown great leadership by committing to train, mentor and employ refugees, who in turn bring new skills and experiences to these workplaces,” he told Fairfax Media.
The state’s Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, said the NSW Government would also provide fee-free vocational training.
“The Refugee Employment Support Program will help up to 6000 refugees and 1000 asylum seekers develop career plans to find a meaningful job, which is a vital step in helping to grow their local communities,” Barilaro said.
Refugees can make significant economic and social contributions to the economy. More than 50% who arrive in NSW are of prime working age (18-55).
NSW, which takes the majority of refugees who are settled nationally, is expected to receive up to 10,500 refugees by the end of this year.
AMP Foundation Manager, Helen Liondos, told Fairfax Media that AMP had helped develop the new program and will contribute financially to help it expand.
“The AMP Foundation is committed to improving employment opportunities for people facing barriers,” she said.

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