The federal government has announced $6.6 million in funding for community organisations and employment services providers to “create innovative, sustainable employment projects for underemployed migrant and refugee job seekers through the Migrant Communities Employment Fund (MCEF).”
The fund, announced by Minister for Employment Brendan O’Connor and Minister for Multicultural Affairs Kate Lundy, is the result of lobbying by Greens MP Adam Bandt, who has exposed the plight of migrants who are unable to use their qualifications in Australia.
According to DEEWR, “Examples of projects that may be suitable for funding include projects that provide opportunities for migrant and refugee jobseekers to:
- access suitable training (including English language training)
- access mentoring support
- participate in work experience and training in Australian workplace culture
- access employment opportunities
- receive employment support and post-placement support.
Projects can be targeted to assist first and second generation migrants.”
Employers can apply for funding of up to $200,000.
“It is in Australia’s interest to ensure we’re utilising the productive capacity of each and every individual, including recent migrants and refugees,’ Workplace Minister Bill Shorten said in launching the fund.
“We want to do everything we can to help migrants and refugees to find and keep a job so they can provide for their family and contribute fully to our society,” Minister Lundy said.
“The Migrant Communities Employment Fund will fund projects to address migrant and refugee employment issues at the local grass-root level.
“I encourage migrant community organisations, other community organisations, employment services providers, government agencies and employers to get involved.”
Applications for the first round projects will close on 19 July 2013 and there will be further funding rounds over the next two years.
To view the MCEF guidelines and to apply visit the website at www.deewr.gov.au/mcef
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