Red Cross and Accenture develop skills support program for refugees

10 July 2022 2 min. read
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The Red Cross has launched a new program aimed at upskilling 200 refugees that recently arrived on Australia’s shores. Working together with partner Accenture, the program will help the refugees build their skills and then introduce them to employment opportunities with employers.

Around 60,000 refugees arrived in Australia last year, but longer term statistics show that their financial outlook is mostly dire. Only 17% of refugees are in paid work 18 months after arrival, and on top of that, the median income for refugees after five years hovers around $31,000, compared to the national average of $60,000.

In a bid to help fresh refugees be more effective in finding employment, the ‘Connect Match Support Program’ provides pro-bono skills development support across a range of digital, proficiency and interpersonal capabilities.

Red Cross and Accenture develop support skills program for refugees

“Meaningful economic participation is one of the most important aspects of a successful settlement journey for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. People with this kind of lived experience have an incredible amount to offer employers. They are resilient, industrious and keen to give back to the communities they now call home. We look forward to working with the Accenture team to assist our clients develop employment and training skills,” said Shzan Plandowski from the Red Cross.

The Connect Match Support Program focuses on a number of areas, including digital skills (which leverage Accenture’s e-learning platform), growing English language fluency, interview preparation, and career mentoring to address barriers to employment and enable active participation in the Australian economy and society.

Upon completion of the program, refugees will be introduced to companies seeking new talent, with companies in hospitality, agriculture, logistics and mining affiliated to the program.

“Accenture is pleased to be able to partner with Australian Red Cross to support refugees starting their new life in Australia. Setting up a new life in a foreign country and finding work can be difficult, especially with barriers like language and a lack of local work experience or references,” said Scott Hahn, senior managing director and Technology lead for Accenture in Australia.

“We hope that this program will empower each person to enter the workforce successfully and make settling into Australian life easier, while also helping to solve the skills shortage crisis that a number of industries currently face.”