Australia offers fresh support to refugees

The Australian Government is implementing a package of new measures to better support refugees and humanitarian entrants to settle in Australia.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said the reforms would ensure better outcomes for refugees and the communities they settle in, while delivering efficiency and value for money.

“We want to ensure all refugees and humanitarian entrants have the best possible opportunity to settle into Australian life, gain employment and contribute to their new communities,” Mr Coleman said.

“Financial independence, English language skills and personal connections allow humanitarian entrants to more easily transition into the community, put down roots and contribute to our economy

“Successful settlement is in the interests not only of the refugees themselves, but also of the broader Australian community.”

The new measures include:

– Appointing a Commonwealth Coordinator-General for Migrant Services within the Department of Home Affairs. The Coordinator-General will work closely with federal, state and territory departments, industry and the community to oversee the policy and delivery of these important services.

– Increasing the proportion of new refugees and humanitarian entrants settled outside Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, with a target of 50 per cent by 2022. This is consistent with the Government’s broader focus on regional migration.

– Establishing a trial program for skilled refugees under the existing skilled visa framework.

– Changing the Humanitarian Settlement Program to an outcomes-based model with a strengthened performance management framework for contractors.

– Developing new approaches to improve the economic participation of humanitarian entrants. This includes employment strategies for young people, parents, older refugees and at-risk women.

– Harnessing the goodwill of Australians by better connecting refugees with volunteer and grassroots organisations that form the backbone of so many Australian communities

In addition, from 1st July 2020 a new trial will commence in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) to encourage more innovative and flexible approaches to tuition. The trial will allow English tuition to occur outside institutional classroom settings to best meet client needs and facilitate employment opportunities

Article published 25th November 2019