A program funded by Skilled Medical at the Brotherhood of St Laurence to help refugees gain employment in the health and community sectorsIn 2011 Skilled Medical funded the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s ‘Care for Caring’ program, developed to help up to 12 refugees find employment in the health and community sectors through the provision of training, mentorship and support.Many refugees in Australia face significant challenges finding work due to limited English language and computer skills, unfamiliarity with local job search methodologies and limited access to support training, transportation and funding. Skilled Medical’s ‘Care for Caring - Refugee Employment Program’ provided funding of $15,000 aimed at helping up to 12 refugees from countries such as Somalia, Afghanistan, Burma, Congo, Iraq and the Sudan living in the City of Yarra, Victoria, gain employment and training opportunities over an 18 month period.Participants in the program were to undertake language and literacy assessments, complete a vocational skills audit to identify any competency gaps and receive training to raise their awareness of Australian workplace culture and employer expectations. Participants would also receive on-the-job experience, coaching, mentoring, post-placement support and access to funding to meet training or employer needs.Skilled Medical’s partnership with the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) was devised to help refugees contribute their skills and talents to the local community and enhance future employment opportunities.Program OutcomesCompleted in July 2012, Skilled Medical’s partnership with the BSL was a great success, significantly exceeding target levels for the number of refugees trained, mentored and employed. The skills audit developed for the ‘Care for Caring’ program continues to be used by the BSL for clients entering the caring profession.The following outcomes were achieved:> 22 refugee job seekers received community services employment preparation training (target: 12). A skills audit was conducted for those refugees who already held an existing qualification.> 12 participants were matched to a community mentor.> 11 participants undertook ongoing volunteering work at a BSL aged care facility.> 9 participants ultimately found employment in the community sector.> Training units on ‘Ability to read a road map’ and ‘Comprehension of daily task sheets’ were identified as new skill requirements and added to the support program.Director of Skilled Medical, Dr David Campbell, said, “The Brotherhood of St Laurence provides wonderful services to some of the community’s most vulnerable and Skilled Medical is proud to have provided the funding to a successful program that has exceeded expectations. The fact that the Care for Caring program continues to help refugee job seekers find employment in the health and community services sector is a testament to the strength of the program and the skill of its operators.”Further information is available in our Care for Caring – Case Study.
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