MercyCare has been providing support to asylum seekers since 2011. We have learned that though most have endured great hardship and risks to escape harm, unfortunately this trauma does not always end with their arrival. Basic needs still need to be met – a roof over their heads, food to eat, the opportunity to learn English and ultimately, the chance to earn a basic income.
Despite the fact that highly skilled professionals, who have qualifications from their home country, are trying to start a new life in Australia. Our experiences have identified many barriers for individuals to secure a job. This includes
- their overseas qualifications not being immediately transferable to their Australian equivalents;
- a limited understanding of Australian workplace norms and expectations;
- no work history or references in Australia;
- a lack of networks to help find a job;
- general lack of confidence, understanding of how to conduct an effective job search, present at interviews, and craft resumes and cover letters.
As asylum seekers await the result of their visa application, our small Intensive Employment Support team is helping asylum seekers with no or limited income to become self-sufficient so they can pay rent, utility bills and feed their families.
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 support, these asylum seekers could become destitute and/or homeless.
How do we help?
- Intensive Casework Support by an experienced and qualified Senior Employment Support Consultant and a team of volunteers;
- Creation of resumes and application letters;
- Assistance in identifying and applying for jobs;
- accessing training and skills development opportunities;
- find work experience placements and volunteering opportunities to build competencies;
- Marketing service users to employers to find suitable paid positions;
- English classes to improve English competency; and
- Access to food, emergency accommodation and assistance in paying essential bills.
MercyCare is also a part of the Unity Employment Network which connects WA employers with jobseekers from asylum seeker, refugee and new migrant backgrounds. Find out more about the Unity Employment Network here.
How corporates can help
Despite the support from our team, these asylum seekers still need to secure a reliable income, or at least find work experience to support future job opportunities.
Employers benefit from providing opportunities to our job seekers in many ways.
- Employing or providing work experience to an asylum seeker will actively demonstrate your commitment to multiculturalism and respect for all.
- Your team has a firsthand opportunity to gain a better understanding of asylum seekers and their situations.
- Valuable relationships will be created and strengthened between staff and job seekers.
Our experience has clearly shown that workplaces benefit greatly from hosting an asylum seeker.
As employers, there are many opportunities to support access to employment for people from a refugee or asylum seeker background. We have a helpful Guide for WA Employers and our team at Unity Employment Network would be happy to answer any questions you have - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you or an organisation you know are interested in finding out how you can provide assistance to our job seekers, please contact Teri O’Toole.
Current job seekers
Our job seekers are very keen to contribute in a meaningful way to their new community. Obtaining work is often the first critical step towards living a valued and independent life in Australia; it enables people to sustain themselves and create a new life in Australia for their families.
Here are brief profiles of some of our current job seekers.
|Mashango||Mashango is a qualified lawyer who has worked as an Appeal Court Lawyer and Child Rights Consultant in the Congo before moving to Australia. To practice as a lawyer in Australia, Mashango will need to convert his legal qualifications. He is currently seeking any work that will enable him to use his legal understanding and skills and develop an understanding of Australian workplace practices.|
|Joelle||Joelle is a qualified and experienced Accountant. She has a Bachelor of Accounting Degree and nine years work experience as an Accountant, gained in her home country of Gabon.|
|Musa||Musa has a Certificate III in Personal Support (Aged Care) and has completed work experience at Aegis Aged Care. She used to be volunteer carer at a Children’s Home before she left Ghana and also ran her own small beauty accessory business. She is currently looking for an ongoing role working as a personal carer/support worker for people with a disability and/or the elderly.|
In addition to the above, MercyCare is also working with many other jobseekers who do not yet have profiles and resumes completed. Please contact us if you are looking for specific skills or interested in new jobseekers as we finalise their details.