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Wednesday, 11 July 2018 18:50

Ministry giving refugees skills to enter the workforce

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0718Loretoworkprogram 350The Empowered to Work program aims to help refugees and people seeking asylum, learn the skills and knowledge required for successful entry into the Australian workforce, thanks to a partnership of Mary Ward International Australia, the Asylum Resource Centre and the Jesuit Refugee Service.

The EWP is but one of the cohesive programs operated by the House of Welcome in western Sydney that is dedicated to making the disenfranchised feel empowered and welcome, evolving into a one-stop centre for asylum seekers and refugees, providing "holistic support that nurtures hope, advocates for justice and promotes self-reliance, whilst acknowledging the dignity and the rights of each individual".

The project is reliant on the goodwill of volunteers who work one-on-one with participants to overcome untold cultural, language and technological barriers. Volunteers work and assist on all levels, from answering phones to advising how to write a resume.

Sr Libby Rogerson ibvm, a founding member of the House of Welcome (2000), describes the volunteers as a “treasured resource”.

The program provides pre-employment support, access to work experience opportunities, resume and cover letter writing, online job search, course and training referrals and interview skills. The critical expansion of the EWP has given the House of Welcome the opportunity to extend the service from pre-employment support through to direct job placement.

Since launching in mid-2017, 145 people have attended a consultation with Empowered to Work, with one in three people able to transition successfully into work, study or training. The program is held every Wednesday at the House of Welcome, 197 Trongate Granville NSW.
They are currently looking for businesses that can offer paid work placement opportunities; work experience, volunteers who have experience in recruitment, employment pathways and/or job search and writing skills.

If you are able to assist, please head to the Loreto Sisters' website for details.

This article and photo were first published at loreto.org.au.