Media Release by The Hon Paul Fletcher MP

Helping migrants and refugees into work

Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher today announced the Employer-led Refugee Employment Project, which will provide training, coaching and work experience to prepare 100 working age migrants and refugees for paid positions within the Woolworths Group.

The Australian Government is providing $600,000 to fund the project, which will run over 18 months in South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales, and be operated by Community Corporate, a specialist in employment programs for migrants and refugees.

“This trial aims to provide migrants and refugees with culturally appropriate coaching, support and job-readiness training to give them the opportunity to build the skills and experience they need to join the workforce through Woolworths, one of Australia’s largest and best known retail businesses.

“Community Corporate will also provide participating Woolworths stores and senior managers with cultural awareness training during the project.”

“Government projects like Employer-led Refugee Employment Project aim to help migrants and refugees into work so that they can provide the essentials for their families, develop social networks and fully realise the opportunities that Australia offers,” Mr Fletcher said.

Woolworths Group Chief People Officer, Caryn Katsikogianis said, “At Woolworths we value diversity and believe our teams should reflect the communities we serve.

“Our Refugee Employment Partnership with Community Corporate has been a big success in both New South Wales and Victoria with more than 60 participants going on to secure roles in our stores.

“With the support of this Federal funding, we’re delighted to be expanding our partnership with Community Corporate to give more migrants and refugees the chance to build a great career with Woolworths.  

“We are pleased to be able to play a part in helping these team members forge new lives in Australia.”

“This investment by the Australian Government meets a critical need to support unemployed migrants and refugees who, regardless of setbacks, have the right attitude for work and are desperately seeking that important first job in Australia,” said Carmen Garcia, Managing Director of Community Corporate.

Tranche two of the Try, Test and Learn Fund closed for applications on 28 September, and selected projects will share in up to $50 million for trials that provide evidence on how best to improve people’s lives and reduce welfare dependency.

The Employer-led Refugee Project is the first of a number of trials for working age migrant and refugees the Australian Government will be supporting through the Try, Test and Learn Fund.    

More information about the Try, Test and Learn Fund can be found on the Department of Social Services’ website.