SCoA Logo Yellow rectangle with SCOA cut out


The future of employment services in Australia: July 2018

SCoA members will be aware of recent developments in relation to the review of JobActive and the appointment of an Expert Panel to undertake this crucial work. SCoA has already been actively engaged with this process, attending a community sector roundtable hosted by the Expert Panel in May 2018, and providing advocacy on the importance of employment, and targeted employment services, in achieving settlement outcomes for new arrivals in Australia. We have received great input from our members across the country about the need for better alignment between employment and settlement services and, over recent years, have developed a plan of advocacy focusing on the foundations required for achieving economic engagement of migrants, and especially those from a refugee background. There is an increasing body of research highlighting the contributions that migrants make to the Australian economy, and also discussing the barriers and limitations that may impede that contribution. SCoA's policy hub contains a growing collection of interesting research which you can view here. Through the Department of Jobs and Small Business, the Expert Panel has now opened consultations on the future employment services model to start when the current jobactive contract arrangements finish in mid-2020. SCoA has been advised that, at this stage, no proposal is "off the table" and that the Expert Panel is open to considering any and all suggestions that may improve employment outcomes in Australia generally. You can read the Expert Panel's discussion paper here. This provides a great opportunity to the settlement sector to engage with this process and ensure that employment outcomes for migrants and refugees, and the services required to meet the needs of these cohorts, are given ample consideration. Members of the public and interested organisations were invited to make a submission to the Expert Panel and SCoA made a submission on behalf of the sector, as well as participating in an upcoming workshop hosted by the Department of Jobs to provide direct input into this process. In order to inform SCoA's advocacy on behalf of the sector, we held a nationwide member teleconference on Monday 16 July 2018. SCoA's final submission can be accessed below. We welcome any feedback from members and will keep everyone updated on the Expert Panel's findings.

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.