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Seven Steps to SUCCESS: Enabling Refugee Entrepreneurs to Flourish

CPD and Open Political Economy Network (OPEN) have released a new report,Seven Steps to SUCCESS: Enabling Refugee Entrepreneurs to FlourishThe report draws on Australian and international best practice to outline policy recommendations to government, business and civil society on how to better support refugee entrepreneurs. Key findings:
  • Despite the huge challenges they face, refugees are the most entrepreneurial migrants in Australia – they and nearly twice as likely to be entrepreneurs as Australian taxpayers as a whole.
  • Contrary to popular belief, female refugees are more likely to report income from their own business than men.
  • While some promising ventures supporting refugee entrepreneurship exist, these are largely confined to Melbourne and Sydney, and are limited in scale and funding. Australia is only scratching the surface of what refugee entrepreneurs could achieve with appropriate investment and support.
  • An ambitious but achievable target of launching 1,000 new refugee-run businesses each year could yield $98 million in annual economic and fiscal gains. Within ten years, the boost to the economy could be nearly $1 billion a year. The social benefits would also be significant.
To read the report, click here 

Investing in Refugee Talent: Lessons Learned in Labour Market Integration

The influx of refugees received in 2015, and the years that followed, challenged receiving communities to reimagine traditional models of labour market integration. Conventional recruitment and selection processes resulted in missed opportunities to effectively evaluate and tap into the myriad of skills and experience many refugees bring to the workforce. This new report represents a timely and practical guide to galvanize public and private sector response to the challenges faced by newcomers in local labour markets. This volume of best practices from cities in Canada, Germany, Sweden and Australia, highlights the opportunities we can leverage as we navigate migration in the 21st century, together Click here to read the new report.

Australian Employers Guide to Hiring Refugees: Migration Council of Australia (Jan 2019)

The Australian Employers Guide to Hiring Refugees has just been released by the Friendly Nation Initiative, which is a strategy of the Migration Council of Australia. The Friendly Nations Initiataive mobilises Australian businesses to provide employment, mentoring, internship, and work experience opportunities to refugees. Employment is a crucial step in the process of settling in Australia. Through work, refugees become self-reliant and empowered to build a future for themselves and their families.

Seizing the opportunity: Making the most of the skills and experience of migrants and refugees: Multicultural Affairs Queensland (Nov 2018)

Commissioned by Multicultural Affairs Queensland, the Deloitte Access Economics report, Seizing the opportunity: Making the most of the skills and experience of migrants and refugees, explores the economic and social opportunity from the better utilisation of skills and experience of migrants and refugees in Queensland. Bringing much needed data and critical thinking to this issue, the report provides valuable insights to the costs of under-employment in Queensland and the strong opportunity that exists if migrant and refugees are utilised to their full potential following arrival in Australia. Read the report here.

Senate inquiry into the appropriateness and effectiveness of jobactive – September 2018

In September 2018 SCoA made a submission to the Senate inquiry into the appropriateness and effectiveness of the objectives, design, implementation and evaluation of jobactive. Following our submission to the Expert Panel's review into the future of employment services, we took the opportunity to share with the Senate Education and Employment Committee our views on the appropriateness and effectiveness of jobactive for new Australians. On 14 November 2018, SCoA will attend a Committee Hearing to provide evidence in support of our submission. Read our submission below.

The future of employment services in Australia: July 2018

Switzerland exploring refugee and asylum seeker employment

Switzerland is about to pilot a new algorithm which could boost refugee employment by up to 30%. Built on big data from tracking previous refugees, the tool analyses asylum seekers’ characteristics to recommend the region where they’re most likely to find work. Launching in summer 2018, the program will be the first of its kind in the world. Read more here

Settling Better: Reforming refugee employment and settlement services (Centre for Policy Development)

The Centre for Policy Development's February 2017 report: Settling Better looks at the following questions:
  • But how effective are Australia’s settlement services with respect to employment?
  • Are we drawing on our full potential to ensure the best economic, social and civic contributions of refugees to our society with the employment and settlement services currently in place?
Written by CPD Research Associate Henry Sherrell and prepared with the support of the Boston Consulting Group, Settling Better calls for a new approach to refugee employment and settlement services. Read more here.

CGU Migrant Small Business Report

Released on 22 January 2018, this report provides an important snapshot of the migrants, including those from a refugee background, who contribute to Australia's economic success by creating highly successful small businesses.

On releasing the report, CGU stated:

The report found that migrant business owners are entrepreneurial, innovative and ambitious, revealing:

  • Eight in 10 (83%) migrant business owners started their first business venture after moving to Australia.
  • Nearly one quarter of migrant business owners started their business to try out an innovative or new idea (23% compared to 16% of non-migrants).
  • One in two migrant business owners are aiming to generate higher revenue in the next five years (47% compared to 38% of non-migrants).
  • A quarter of migrant business owners are training young people in the community (25% compared to 19% of non-migrants).
  • One in three migrant business owners are planning on growing their business with new hires (33% compared to 25% of non-migrants).
Read the Report here.

International Migration and Employment Growth in Australia 2011-16

The first issue of Australian Population Studies contains an insightful article examining the impact of migration on employment growth in Australia over the five year period: 2011-16. The article is available for free on the journal's website. Click here to view.

Building a New Life in Australia: 27 November 2017

Private and community sector initiatives in refugee employment and entrepreneurship

The Lowy Institute has released a new Working Paper exploring private and community sector initiatives in refugee employment and entrepreneurship. Authored by respected academic Professor Jock Collins of University of Technology Sydney, the paper is a great insight to the work that is being done to ensure great employment outcomes for refugees in Australia. Visit the Lowy Institute's website to view the report, or download it here.

Stories of Making Australia Home

SCoA member, Sydwest Multicultural Services has created an inspiring book which shares the stories of some of Australia's newest citizens. Exploring themes of employment, education, health, social engagement, family and many more, this collection of stories is a message of hope and a celebration of all that Australia stands to gain by welcoming refugees and helping them settle.

See the report here.

Empowering Migrant and Refugee Women

This report explores various aspects of service delivery to migrant women who have been living in Australia for at least five years. It documents the nature and types of service available, and identifies best practice principles and key service gaps in service delivery for migrant and refugee women. This report also outlines key priorities for addressing these service gaps.

View the report here.

NSW Settlement Partnership – In Focus

The New South Wales Settlement Partnership In Focus Publication The NSW Settlement Partnership recently launched the report "In Focus" an overview of the Partnership and its amazing work across New South Wales. To access the report and read about some of the work of the NSP, click here.

JobActive and Refugee Communities: Refugee Council of Australia

Foundations of Economic Engagement: June 2017

Following comprehensive sector-wide consultation, SCoA has developed the attached information detailing the foundations of economic engagement for migrants in Australia. Engaging with the labour market is pivotal to successful settlement and remains a high priority for government, as well as a key driver for migrants themselves, who view their labour market integration as vital to their “successful immigration”. Naturally, securing lasting employment has considerable benefits for migrants as they establish their new lives in Australia. However, it must not be forgotten that the effects of migration flow through every aspect of the economy and migration results in a net fiscal benefit to Australia’s bottom line

Beginning a Life in Australia

The Department of Social Services (DSS) has prepared a comprehensive information booklet detailing key information for those building their lives in Australia. The booklet provides helpful settlement information, including links to other resources, for people who have recently come to Australia and people who are helping them. Available on the DSS website in over 20 languages, the book is of great value and highly recommended.

Building a new life in Australia


The Building a New Life in Australia project is a longitudinal study of refugees in Australia and maps their experiences over a series of years. This study is being undertaken by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, with information collected by Colmar Brunton Social Research. The project is commissioned and funded by the Department of Social Services.

Building a New Life in Australia aims to identify factors that impact the settlement of humanitarian migrants in Australia, in the hope that it will help improve policy development and program delivery for Australia's settlement sector.

In 2017, the AIFS will be releasing its first comprehensive release of the study's findings.

For more information, visit the project, here.