Destiny Rescue
News  |  Careers

NFPs ‘Delighted’ With $15M Funding For Asylum Seeker Training

Monday, 5th September 2016 at 8:59 am
Wendy Williams
Not for Profits have welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement to give asylum seekers “a fair go” with $15 million in funding allocated for training opportunities.

Monday, 5th September 2016
at 8:59 am
Wendy Williams



NFPs ‘Delighted’ With $15M Funding For Asylum Seeker Training
Monday, 5th September 2016 at 8:59 am

Not for Profits have welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement to give asylum seekers “a fair go” with $15 million in funding allocated for training opportunities.

Asylum seekers given vocational training

Thousands of asylum seekers and, for the first time, refugees on temporary protection visas will be given access to local education and training programs across the state following an expansion of the Asylum Seeker VET Program.

The government currently provides funding for around 300 eligible asylum seekers. But this number is set to increase tenfold over the next two years, with $15 million earmarked to open the program up to as many to 3000 asylum seekers.

The move has been welcomed by the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), who said the program was of crucial importance for refugees and people seeking asylum who wish to seek employment.

RCOA acting CEO Tim O’Connor said they were “delighted” by the announcement.

“Such examples show the strong political leadership that is being provided by state governments,” O’Connor said.

“Lack of access to educational opportunities has been identified as a significant problem for many of the communities that we work with, who want to be able to find meaningful employment to support themselves and their families and to successfully integrate into their new country.

“The expansion of the VET Program will make a profound difference to thousands of people across Victoria, and we will certainly be encouraging other states to follow suit.”

Migrant and refugee settlement agency AMES Australia said that having greater access to training would give many refugees and asylum seekers the opportunity to improve their circumstances.

“We know that most refugees and asylum seekers want to study and want work and we know they want to contribute to the community,” AMES chief executive officer Cath Scarth said.

“This initiative will give many refugees and asylum seekers their first opportunity to study in Australia and the chance to improve their skills and qualifications.

“For many it will mean ultimately getting their first job in Australia or getting a better job.

“And for most, being able to study can only improve their health and wellbeing.”

Victoria is currently home to around 11,000 asylum seekers and refugees with temporary protection visas living in the community.

The VET Program offers participants professional training through TAFEs, private training providers and the Learn Local network.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) will also provide additional support and professional development to training providers working with asylum seekers and refugees.

And customised language and literacy programs will be offered to participants to improve their reading and writing skills.

Afghan asylum seeker Obaidullah Mehak, who fled his homeland after being targeted by the Taliban, said he would be eager to take up any opportunities to undertake study.

Mehak trained as a lawyer but his qualifications are not recognised in Australia.

“I would very much appreciate the opportunity to study in Australia and to improve my skills, qualifications and employability,” Mehak said.

“I want to be able to work and to contribute to this society which has given me a safe refuge.”

Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert said the training would help asylum seekers and refugees play a productive role in the Victorian workforce.

“People come here looking for a fair go – and we’ll do everything in our power to give it to them,” Herbert said.

“We’re giving 3,000 asylum seekers and refugees access to the training they need to get a proper job, to reach their ambitions and full potential so they can play a productive role in the Victorian workforce.”

Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at

One Comment

  • Avatar Larry says:

    Why wasting tax payers money on refugees who are temporarily here? What about offering these resources to the local young people who live here? What about spending this money on taking care of local homeless people?

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Loneliness and Villages

David Crosbie

Thursday, 14th March 2019 at 9:00 am

‘It takes a village’ to help kids succeed in education

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 12th March 2019 at 8:00 am

‘Forgotten’ Refugees With Disability Waiting Months for Basic Services

Luke Michael

Friday, 22nd February 2019 at 4:35 pm


Morrison vows to prioritise NDIS following election win

Luke Michael

Monday, 20th May 2019 at 4:05 pm

Guide dogs business venture set to shake up traditional charity model

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 13th May 2019 at 4:11 pm

Australia set to face UN scrutiny over disability rights

Luke Michael

Friday, 17th May 2019 at 4:45 pm

Community Sector Banking
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!