CareerSeekers supports mid-career professionals looking to re-establish their careers in Australia, and university students.

Many skilled humanitarian entrants have poor employment prospects due to a lack of local work experience, despite having tertiary level qualifications from their home countries or being high performing students.

The CareerSeekers program aims to provide internships that help humanitarian arrivals gain locally relevant, professional work experience.

The program has been developed from learnings and experience gained from the renowned CareerTrackers program which SVA was involved in supporting since 2010.

SVA support

SVA is supporting CareerSeekers to refine this program model, and draw upon SVA’s leading expertise in work readiness and employment support for disadvantaged jobseekers in Australia. With our support, the CareerSeekers program aims for between 100 and 120 refugees and asylum seeker mid-career professionals to be placed in long-term skilled employment with leading Australian corporations.

 

Case study

Before the civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Maria and her family lived a comfortable life in Aleppo. Maria had 20 years’ work experience as a software engineer while her husband had his own business and retail shop in the CBD.

Maria’s house was bombed in 2014, leading Maria and her husband to flee Syria to Lebanon where they applied for a humanitarian visa to Australia. Maria was sponsored under a humanitarian visa and they arrived in Sydney in February 2015. At 44 years of age Maria, her husband and school-aged sons had to start their lives again.

Maria was repeatedly told that she needed Australian work experience in order to secure a job, which shook her confidence. She undertook a 12-week internship through CareerSeekers and is now employed by Telstra as a Project Manager. The internship and employment opportunity enables her family to support themselves and they are no longer reliant on welfare payments. Both of her sons are attending school in Australia and her eldest son is commencing university to study computer science in 2017.