Media Release by The Hon Christian Porter MP

Support for young refugees

Six organisations across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria are gearing up to help young refugees and vulnerable migrants integrate into the Australian economy and community.

Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter launched the $22.1 million pilot programme at an event to celebrate graduates of the Ucan2 initiative, delivered by Foundation House in Victoria.

“This programme is expected to help up to 10,000 vulnerable young people aged 25 and under,” Mr Porter said.

“The refugees and vulnerable migrants will benefit, the economy will benefit and our communities will benefit.”

“Some of the 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees are expected to be among the first beneficiaries.”

The $22.1 million Youth Transition Support pilot programme will help young refugees and vulnerable migrants get the skills they need for a job and engage in society through work, education and sport.

“I am pleased to announce six providers have been selected to deliver the 18-month pilot, with services to begin from 1 January 2016,” Mr Porter said.

“In Victoria, Foundation House will deliver services in Greater Dandenong and Casey, with Brotherhood of St Laurence delivering services in Hume.

“In Queensland, MDA will deliver services in Brisbane, with Access Community Services delivering services in Logan.

“In New South Wales, the Community Migrant Resource Centre Parramatta will deliver services in Auburn and Blacktown, and the Lebanese Muslim Association will deliver services in Canterbury, Bankstown and Fairfield.”

Mr Porter said starting a new life in a new country is a significant challenge.

“Young refugees face particular challenges putting them at a social and economic disadvantage, which in turn can increase the risk of social isolation and disengagement,” Mr Porter said.

“We are supporting young people who want to build a positive future for themselves in Australia.”

At the event, Mr Porter commended the work of Foundation House and its partners, Centre for Multicultural Youth and Australian Multicultural Education Services, in delivering the Ucan2 programme.

“In the past five years, Ucan2 has helped more than 1,000 young people, with around 900 participating in work experience placements and 250 finding employment as a result of the programme.

“This is a great example of what can be achieved through partnerships between local communities and businesses and it puts Foundation House in a strong position to deliver the Youth Transition Support pilot in parts of Victoria,” Mr Porter said.

The Youth Transition Support Pilot Programme is part of a $330 million jobs package for young people at risk of long-term welfare dependency.

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