Accelerating employment for new Australians
over three years to establish the CareerSeekers New Australian Internship Program
The award-winning CareerTrackers Indigenous internship program demonstrated the effectiveness of meaningful and supported work experience as a pathway to long term employment. This inspired a new vision – CareerSeekers – to create employment opportunities for people seeking asylum and refugees.
It brokers 12-week paid internships for students studying full time at an Australian university, and recently arrived mid-career professionals with experience from their home country.
Recognising the transformational impact of having a job, and the pioneering nature of the program, VFFF saw this as a catalytic opportunity to provide meaningful employment for refugees and people seeking asylum to ensure their full participation in Australian life.
VFFF provided the initial $150,000 to kick-start the program, followed by another $50,000 when the fledgling enterprise hit a cashflow hurdle – a reminder that even the best laid plans hit challenges in implementation.
Four years later the achievements have been outstanding: 74% of the 658 participants have commenced full time employment after their internship. 56 private sector businesses now employ CareerSeekers graduates who have already contributed $11.9m in taxes to the Australian economy.
Through fees paid by employers CareerSeekers is on track to become a selfsustaining enterprise in 2020.