Accenture Australia has partnered with The Red Cross to provide free digital skills training to 200 refugees who recently arrived in Western Australia, which the organisations hope will ease the state's tech labour shortage.
Called the 'Connect Match Support Program’, also co-funded by the Department of Home Affairs, includes online training sessions, CV writing, English language classes, professional mentoring and mock interviews.
The charity and digital consultancy called the partnership a dual-purpose program that would help address Western Australian businesses’ labour shortage, "exacerbated by extended border restrictions due to the pandemic.”
Citing figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Accenture and The Red Cross said Western Australian businesses have over 65,000 vacancies, in sectors such as hospitality, agriculture, logistics and mining.
Commenting on the partnership, Accenture Australia senior managing director and technology lead in Australia Scott Hahn said, “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.”
“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.”
Red Cross migration support programs economic participation lead Shzan Plandowski said that despite Australia’s significant level of job demand only 17 percent of refugees secure work within 18 months after arrival, and refugees’ median income after five years of being settled is only $31,000, compared to the national average of $60,000.
“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.”