Greens launch plan to help migrant & refugee Australians secure jobs

Greens Employment spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today said the Greens will invest $22 million to re-establish a Migrant Communities Employment Fund to help find meaningful work for un- and under-employed job seekers from migrant and refugee backgrounds. Mr Bandt’s announcement follows his public conversation with Julian Burnside QC in Melbourne last night on refugees and people seeking asylum.

A Migrant Communities Employment Fund was established during the 2010 Parliament following extensive lobbying by Mr Bandt, however it was cut by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in MYEFO 2013.

“Getting and keeping a job is hard enough, but it is much harder for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds,” Mr Bandt said.

“In Melbourne, we have people with Masters degrees driving taxis and skilled professionals who can't get work in their area of expertise.”

"Many young local graduates tell me they can't even get job interviews, but when they change their name on their CV from 'Mohammed' to 'David' the phone starts ringing."

“New Australians often face additional cultural and language barriers to finding sustainable employment and lack community and family networks to secure a job. Even worse, the problem persists for locally-born children of families who may have come here decades ago."

“People seeking asylum who have come to Australia over the past decades have made Australia who we are today.”

“The Migrant Communities Employment Fund will help ensure there are opportunities for refugees and migrants to build a livelihood, contribute to our community and become a core part of our society like the generations before them.”

“The Greens fought hard to establish the Migrant Communities Engagement Fund in the last Parliament to help unemployed and underemployed job seekers from refugee and migrant backgrounds find sustainable employment.”

“Tony Abbott took his axe to the fund in one of his first acts as Prime Minister and the Greens will fight to get it back.”

“The Greens will invest $22 million to re-establish a ‘Migrant Communities Employment Fund’ that will support innovative projects to help secure sustainable employment for people from Eugene and migrant backgrounds.”

“The fund will support employers, employment service providers and community organisations to create opportunities for people from refugee and migrant backgrounds to get and maintain work.”

Media contact: Adam Pulford, 0429 109 054