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Giving opportunity through employment

Arriving in a new country potentially knowing no one and not speaking the local language is a stark reality facing many refugees who come to Australia looking for a better life.


For some, finding work becomes an impossible task – qualifications from their home country may not be recognised and language barriers make face-to-face interviews even more difficult and nerve wracking.


“Asylum seekers and refugees come across with various skills which companies can use to grow.” - Ahmad


Over the past 12 years, ANZ has worked with the Brotherhood of St Laurence to recruit staff through the Given the Chance program - designed to assist marginalised job seekers into work and foster social benefit and inclusion in workplace communities.


For organisations seeking to grow and diversify their workforce, the program offers a strong support model for both employees and employers.


Brotherhood of St Laurence Recruitment & Field Officer, Ahmad Raza, came to Australia as an asylum seeker in late 1999. He says asylum seekers and refugees come across with various skills which companies can use to grow.


Ahmad is himself one of over 200 job seekers that have been provided opportunity at ANZ through the program.

ANZ Credit Support Analyst, Valentina Olivero says she hopes her placement teaches Australians that refugees and asylum seekers can be responsible, reliable and financially intelligent enough to work in the banking industry in Australia.

Creating opportunity


The Given the Chance program offers a variety of opportunities for job seekers, including:


  • Labour hire provides job seekers with much needed Australian workplace experience, while allowing employers time to identify whether they may be suitable for longer term employment.
  • A relationship manager is appointed to support supervisors, field questions and identify further support where needed.
  • The Building Bridges Cultural Awareness training helps develop manager skills to assist with employees' integration into the workplace and provides practical tools and information to help navigate cultural differences that may arise.
  • Each employee is appointed a field officer to help navigate the transition to employment.
  • Employers can also access wider Brotherhood services to support new and existing employees, including support to boost English skills and micro finance assistance.

Lucinda Tamburrino is Inclusion Australia Talent Manager at ANZ


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