Australian employers are demonstrating a keen willingness to take on refugees but are struggling to know how to reach and onboard them, a prominent university has claimed.
The University of Sydney Business School suggested that employers are enthusiastically welcoming refugees into the workforce, but are struggling to see how they can integrate refugees into their own business.
“Many businesses are enthusiastic about employing refugees but they just don’t know where to start and how to do it,” said Dr Betina Szkudlarek.
“On the other hand, we have refugees who are struggling to break through the canvas ceiling,” which she defined as “the obstacles experienced by refugees when it comes to workplace integration”.
“Refugees have been forced to flee their country with no time to strategise about their workplace opportunities. They don’t have networks, they don’t have local experience, they don’t know anything about the job market and their qualifications might not be recognised,” Dr Szkudlarek said.
“Research shows that refugee employees are extremely motivated to perform because they see employment as a path to rebuild their life in the new home country. Initial findings from countries such as Sweden shows that those employers who have hired refugees are eager to do so again.”
Dr Szkudlarek suggested that business leaders wanting to offer work to those in need should reach out to specialist organisations who can help manage the transition for refugees as they settle into their new life in Australia.
These include Settlement Services International (SSI), AMOS Australia and Refugee Talent.
“These not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises can help throughout all the stages of employment from finding and screening appropriate candidates, training, to [on-the-job] mentoring. Many look at what the employer wants and provide tailor-made solutions,” she said.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.