MercyCare / Community Services / Multicultural Services / Intensive Employment Support

Intensive Employment Support

Creating livelihoods for refugees and asylum seekers and supporting refugee employment programs

Refugees and asylum seekers endure great hardship and risks to escape harm. But sometimes the trauma doesn’t end when they arrive in Australia. Basic needs still need to be met – a roof over their heads, food to eat, an opportunity to learn English and the chance to earn a basic income.

How do we help?

MercyCare’s Employment Pathways Support programs work with refugees and asylum seekers to identify their skills and interests and match them to available work opportunities. Our asylum seeker and refugee employment support services connect participants with skilled mentors to guide them through the Australian workplace.

Some refugees and asylum seekers may struggle to find a job, despite the fact they are highly skilled professionals with qualifications and experience from their home countries. Some of the reasons they struggle include:

  • Overseas qualifications that are not recognised in Australia
  • Limited understanding of Australian workplace norms and expectations
  • No work history or references in Australia
  • Lack of employment networks
  • General lack of confidence in the job application process, such as understanding how to conduct an effective job search, present at interviews, craft resumes and write cover letters.

Our employment support service provides skill building workshops and one-on-one guidance to refugees seeking employment. If a participant has an overseas qualification, we work closely with the City of Stirling’s Kaleidoscope program to get their qualifications recognised and make introductions to people in relevant fields.

Our refugee employment program also includes support for people interested in starting their own small business. Our Microenterprise Pathways have been designed to give refugee employment seekers opportunities to explore small enterprise, through exposure to experiences such as home industry, FareGo food trucks and making Good Habits gift soaps.

Our microenterprise refugee employment service partners with organisations like BOSS to offer free or low cost workshops in business and marketing; and with CARAD to provide experience in hospitality.

Who do we work with?

We partner with multiple organisations in the community to ensure participants get the best support possible. From English and vocational language acquisition (TAFE), to resume completion, work placements and workplace success, we offer comprehensive support to program participants.

Our partners include:

How can employers get involved?

Employer partners play a vital role in our employment support service. We work with our employer partners to arrange talks, site visits and introductions to Australian workplaces. Some partners offer paid entry level positions, with the chance to access on the job training to progress into other roles. Other partners offer “taster experiences” to help participants experience roles before committing to qualifications or training in a particular sector.

Our experience shows that workplaces benefit greatly from hosting a refugee or asylum seeker.

  • Employing or providing work experience to a refugee or an asylum seeker actively demonstrates your organisations commitment to workplace diversity
  • Your organisation gets a valuable opportunity to develop a better understanding of situations facing refugees and asylum seekers
  • Valuable relationships will be created and strengthened between staff and job seekers.

Read our helpful Guide for WA Employers to find out more.

We also have more specific information and a business case for the Hospitality Sector.

Funding and partner acknowledgments:

This service is 100% funded by MercyCare as a response to a critical gap identified in funded services in Australia for asylum seekers who have no income support. Without this kind of support, asylum seekers could become destitute and/or homeless.

MercyCare is a part of the Unity Employment Network, which connects WA employers with jobseekers from asylum seeker, refugee and new migrant backgrounds.

The team at Unity Employment Network are happy to answer any questions you have

Contact Us

A: 4 Brewer Place, Mirrabooka
T: 08 6298 9888