In Australia, there is a huge demand among asylum seeker communities for assistance to find employment. Asylum seekers are highly motivated, but generally have no access to mainstream employment services and struggle to access the labour market and navigate local workplace culture.
It can be up to four years before they gain refugee status and they live a precarious existence with their status and work rights subject to sudden changes. Without support, asylum seekers are at high risk of becoming disengaged and joining the ranks of the long term unemployed by the time they finally attain refugee status.
With funding from a private philanthropist, the Brotherhood of St Laurence has been delivering the Given the Chance for Asylum Seekers program in Melbourne since 2013. This program utilises an innovative recruitment model, working intensively with employers and jobseekers.
It has a strong advocacy component and has been funded, in part, to change the conversation in our community of what asylum seekers can contribute to Australia if they are given a chance.
Jobseekers receive one-to-one assistance to create an employment pathway with a focus on developing new skills and renewing confidence. It is an early intervention, intensive support model that offers learning for other employment programs working with culturally and linguistically diverse people, and those at risk of disengaging.
Asylum seekers with work rights.
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Fitzroy Learning Network
Kildonan Uniting Care
Life Without Barriers
New Hope Foundation
Refugee Council of Australia
Rotary Club of Melbourne
Rural Australians for Refugees
Wear for Success
Given The Chance for Asylum SeekersCentre for Work and Learning95 Brunswick StreetFitzroy, Victoria 3065Email: asep(at)bsl.org.auWeb: www.giventhechance.org.au
Employers interested in learning more about the program can contact:Brian Finnigan, phone 0424 751 920 or email bfinnigan(at)bsl.org.au
Asylum seekers wanting to learn more about getting involved can contact:Given the Chance, phone (03) 9288 9904 or by email at asep(at)bsl.org.au
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Acknowledgement of country
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.