JRS program helping more refugees build a new life
Every year, the Jesuit Refugee Service Australia (JRS) helps more than 3000 refugees and people seeking asylum living in Australia.
Many are trying to rebuild their lives after fleeing persecution and in some cases, the loss of family members.
Mohammad alongside JRS Australia Employment Program Coordinator Tamana Mirzada
They are not eligible for government assistance, so to survive finding employment is vital while they apply for protection and permanent residency.
JRS is supporting refugees to make a new start, with tailored employment support, information sessions, and referrals to training opportunities to update qualifications and secure the licenses needed for work in different industries.
Since 2021, the JRS Australia Employment Program has helped more than 300 refugees and people seeking asylum prepare for and navigate the Australian job market.
Program participants are equipped with work readiness skills, including resume building, interview preparation, information about employment rights, and given the tools they need to feel confident to join the workforce.
Many have found jobs and built a life in Australia.
JRS does not receive any Federal Government funding and hopes to help more refugees with further funding support.
Among the success stories is Mohammad, a father and husband, who was forced to flee Afghanistan following the takeover of the country by the Taliban.
Through the JRS employment program, the former advertising executive whose qualifications are not recognised in Australia, received his White Card qualification which allowed him to initially find work in the construction industry.
Mohammad is now flourishing, and he’s set up a group to help other refugees and has established his own printing business.
Mohammad said he was very grateful for the support he received from the JRS employment program.
He said: “This is the new community that we currently have. Somehow, we have tried to take every single opportunity given to us, whether it was first aid or forklift driving courses; short courses to learn English or preparation for White Card training.”
Pointing at a photo on his phone of his two-year-old daughter he said: “I’m thankful for my God and for the Australian Government that she is going to have a much brighter future than we have had. That’s the most important thing now.”
Note: The PAYCE Foundation has previously funded the JRS employment co-ordinator role.