Queensland businesses to offer work to refugees

BUSINESSES statewide are coming forward to offer 12-week job placements for newly arrived refugees.

It is part of the Work and Welcome 500 initiative which aims to give 500 refugees an opportunity to "get their foot in the door".

Multicultural Development Association deputy chair Peter Forday said they were looking for workplaces of all types, sizes and industries.

He said, "500 job placements is an ambitious target - but with up to 3500 Syrian and Iraqi people set to arrive in Queensland over the next year, now is the time for our community to rally.

"Despite often having extensive qualifications and work histories, many new arrivals struggle to find their first job in Australia.

"A job means you can put food on the table, keep a roof over your head, contribute to your community and secure a more prosperous life for you and your family."

The MDA, Queensland Government, Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland and Queensland Council of Unions launched the program on Wednesday.

"These organisations understand that creating welcoming workplaces is the most important way you can help these families build a more prosperous life in our community," Mr Forday said.

Multicultural Affairs Minister Shannon Fentiman said the initiative would be promoted across government agencies.

"As we welcome new refugees from Syria and Iraq to Queensland, this provides an opportunity to focus on employment initiatives for all refugees and migrants," she said.

"Employment isn't just about bringing in an income; it creates a sense of purpose, a stake in society and dignity."

- APN NEWSDESK



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