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Hire refugees and asylum seekers

How you can help great people find jobs and enjoy work.

Everyone in Australia should have an equal opportunity to find work and succeed.

Thousands of talented, resourceful people are ready to join the workforce. Help us remove the barriers that stop them from working by creating jobs and employment opportunities.

The facts on hiring refugees and people seeking asylum

60% of refugees and people seeking asylum arrive in Australia with the educational equivalent of finishing high school or above. At least 34% of them have university or other tertiary qualifications, and 55% are currently engaged in some kind of education and training.

Our clients have consistently shown they are looking to better themselves, provide for their families and participate in Australian society.

Many employers don’t value experience or qualifications gained overseas. Refugees with engineering, finance and senior management experience struggle to get accepted into even entry-level jobs.

Hiring practices can also raise unfair barriers. Many employers demand that candidates be citizens or permanent residents, rather than having the right to work in Australia.

It can also be hard to enter the workforce if you have no industry contacts or mentors to help you seek and apply for jobs, or if you cannot access childcare or other social supports for people who are dependent on you.

Finally, many people seeking asylum have their income support cut if they study, even if it’s to help them find work. This leaves them in a situation they cannot change.

Read three real-life accounts of trying to find work in Australia.

They can hire from a pool of people with character and commitment, people whose life experience has set them up to be resilient, hardworking and patient.

While refugees find it difficult to enter the workforce, they have many benefits as potential employees. These include:

  • initiative and a strong work ethic
  • dependability because they seek stable employment
  • willingness to take on entry-level or manual labour jobs
  • entrepreneurial and small business skills.

Our economy would be stronger if everyone had an equal opportunity to work. Thousands of people across the country would not rely on government payments or charity to provide for themselves and their families. And a major source of future homelessness could be averted. 

If you’re an employer

Red Cross and our partner agencies can help you find great candidates. We can also offer workplace cross-cultural training and mentoring to help you and your new employee get off to a great start.

Register your interest below.

I’d like to employ a refugee or person seeking asylum

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People you want to hire

Three real-life accounts of what it’s like to look for work in Australia.

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Get the facts

Have an informed conversation about people seeking safety.

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