Media Release by Senator the Hon Zed Seselja

Better focus on employment, English and outcomes under new humanitarian settlement program

The Turnbull Government announced today the organisations that will deliver Australia’s redesigned settlement services supporting newly arrived refugees and humanitarian entrants.

The new Humanitarian Settlement Program makes significant improvements to the way the Government delivers support services to humanitarian entrants and features more intense one-on-one support to build their skills and knowledge to become fully self-reliant and active members of the Australian community.

The new Humanitarian Settlement Program will:

  • move towards an outcomes-based delivery framework;
  • improve case management for individualised, needs-based support;
  • improve English language, education and employment outcomes for humanitarian entrants, including introducing new methods to track outcomes over time;
  • create clearer linkages to the Adult Migrant English Program and the Skills for Education and Employment Program, (administered by the Department of Education and Training) and jobactive, (administered by the Department of Employment);
  • expand orientation and information on life in Australia to provide humanitarian entrants with foundation skills required for their new start;
  • encourage innovation and increased efficiency in service delivery amongst providers;
  • reduce red tape for service providers.

Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs, Senator Zed Seselja, said the new program is designed to ensure our support for humanitarian entrants remains a benchmark for other countries.

“Australia has a long and proud tradition of resettling refugees. Our settlement services are recognised as some of the best in the world,” Assistant Minister Seselja said.

“Since the end of World War II, more than 865,000 refugees and people in humanitarian need have been resettled in Australia.

“To continue to play our part in global efforts to helping vulnerable people in need, Australia’s Humanitarian Program intake of 13,750 places has increased to 16,250 places for 2017-18, and will increase to 18,750 places in the 2018-19.

“This follows the additional intake of 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees which was announced in 2015, for which all visas have been granted and the remaining few families are finally settling.”

Assistant Minister Seselja said the streamlined Humanitarian Settlement Program merges existing settlement services into one comprehensive program that will provide individualised case management support, based on need. It also has a renewed focus on English language, education and employment.

“We look forward to working with our new providers to deliver improved English, education and employment outcomes for humanitarian entrants,” he said.

“We are committed to ensuring humanitarian entrants are able to overcome barriers, start a new life and integrate into Australian society as quickly as possible.”

The Humanitarian Settlement Program providers are: Australian Red Cross Society (ACT and Surrounds and WA), Settlement Services International Limited (Sydney and Regional NSW), MDA Ltd (in partnership with Access) (Qld), Melaleuca Refugee Centre (NT), and AMES Australia (SA, Tas, Vic).

The two stage tender process for the new Humanitarian Settlement Program was independently conducted by the Department of Social Services. Services and referrals of humanitarian entrants under the new program will begin on 30 October 2017.

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