ROCKHAMPTON migrants and refugees will now have more support when finding employment or developing business ventures, with community groups that assist them being granted almost $300,000.
Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs Glen Elmes announced a $288,667 allocation for 14 projects under the Economic Participation Grants Program launched earlier this year.
He was in Rockhampton yesterday to sign a memorandum of understanding with JBS meatworks to employ 30 young refugees.
Minister Elmes said he enjoyed listening to refugees' stories about the how they came to Australia, the persecution they faced and their determination to make the most of their new opportunities.
"I love nothing better than to have the opportunity to meet migrants and refugees," he said.
"They have that determination and that willingness to work and that absolute desire to succeed in this new country, which makes them very, very, very good employees."
JBS plant manager Bill Sauer said they currently employed 87 refugees with about 20 nationalities.
"It doesn't matter if they're refugees settling into the country or they're Australians wanting a career in the meat industry, we'll look at all types of people and if the candidate fits the position we'll seek to employ them," he said.
Mr Sauer also said they do have trouble at times filling positions with local workers.
"It (the meat industry) doesn't suit some people's needs and desires so it does get difficult at times."
Access Community Services CEO Gail Kerr said one of the great things about refugees was their determination, flexibility and ability to relocate.
Her company offers two core programs which involves meeting refugees as they arrive in the country and providing employment solutions for them.