Accenture in Australia and Australian Red Cross today announce a new partnership to support 200 refugees who have recently arrived in Western Australia with an opportunity to build their skills and confidence to gain meaningful employment pathways.
Western Australian businesses are currently facing an unprecedented labour shortage, exacerbated by extended border restrictions due to the pandemic. Many employers in the hospitality, agriculture, logistics and mining sectors cannot find workers, with Australian Bureau of Statistics data suggesting businesses in Western Australia are trying to fill more than 65,000 positions.
Despite a significant level of job demand, many refugees arriving in Australia struggle to find employment. In fact, only 17% of refugees are in paid work 18 months after arrival, and the median income for refugees after five years of being settled is only $31,000, compared to the national average of $60,000. Some of the barriers to stronger employment prospects include lack of work experience in Australia, industry knowledge and references, and language.
Accenture and Australian Red Cross see a clear opportunity to help refugees build the skills they need to find meaningful employment pathways, while also assisting businesses across critical industries such as agriculture, hospitality, and mining in filling their open roles.
To help accomplish this the Red Cross Connect Match Support Program, supported by Accenture, will leverage Accenture’s digital tools and resources to help refugees enhance their skills, provide job readiness support so they can develop CVs, increase their English language fluency, and better prepare for interviews. The program will also provide career mentoring to address barriers to employment and enable active participation in the Australian economy and society. Accenture will provide professional mentoring, conduct mock interviews and host online training sessions to enhance the skill sets and confidence of refugees.
Accenture senior managing director and technology lead for Australia Scott Hahn said “Accenture is pleased to be able to partner with Australian Red Cross to support refugees starting their new life in Australia. Setting up a new life in a foreign country and finding work can be difficult, especially with barriers like language and a lack of local work experience or references. We hope that this program will empower each person to enter the workforce successfully and make settling into Australian life easier, while also helping to solve the skills shortage crisis that a number of industries currently face.”
Red Cross migration support programs economic participation lead Shzan Plandowski said, “Meaningful economic participation is one of the most important aspects of a successful settlement journey for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. People with this kind of lived experience have an incredible amount to offer employers. They are resilient, industrious and keen to give back to the communities they now call home. We look forward to working with the Accenture team to assist our clients develop employment skills and to support them in achieving their employment and training goals”.
Through the program, which is co-funded through the Federal Department of Home Affairs, refugees will be offered employment pathway opportunities with a broad range of employers suited to their individual needs, potentially including Red Cross corporate sponsors, and Accenture.
Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Technology and Operations services and Accenture Song—all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 710,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at accenture.com.
About Australian Red Cross
Australian Red Cross is the country’s largest humanitarian organisation and supports and empowers people and communities in times of vulnerability, and reduces suffering through mobilising the power of humanity. For more than a century Red Cross has been delivering humanitarian services to those most in need, both in Australia and abroad, regardless of nationality, race, religious belief, class, or political persuasion. As a volunteer-based organisation, Red Cross has an unparalleled presence in communities throughout Australia. Staff, volunteers and members are guided by the seven Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality. Visit redcross.org.au.