Job Fair: a room full of open doors

October 14, 2022

More than 100 people seeking asylum went shopping for jobs and training opportunities this week at a Job Fair in Auburn. 

Sixteen employers and training providers attended the event and provided information for job-seekers about the roles they are recruiting for and how to get training and support.

The Job Fair was a collaboration by three organisations; Asylum Seekers Centre, Jesuit Refugee Service Australia and House of Welcome. People seeking asylum from all three organisations went to the fair and came away with stories of success. 

At least seven people were offered jobs immediately at the fair. One employer took applications from thirty five people for a range of positions. Many others shared the application process with job-seekers and offered invitations to visit the workplaces to find out more. Information about a range of other support services such as mentoring, and the Dress for Success hub was also available.

“The day was good for people on temporary visas who can often feel like all the doors are closed to them,” says Jeff Milgate, ASC Employment Lead. “It was also good for employers who have roles to fill and want to break down barriers that stop them getting the applicants they need.”

The ASC Employment Service team said that partner employers really appreciated being able to meet people seeking asylum, understand their challenges and create relationships that build their own understanding.

Two women talking at a Job Fair

City East Community College, one of our training partners said, “We were struck by the enthusiasm and readiness of these students to undertake training that may result in initial or better employment. Motivated and engaged people, eager to get on with it! 

It is interesting to contemplate the enormously beneficial effect on the entire community held in the potential of that one event in a little room in Auburn.”

Staff from the ASC provided support on the day with advice, form-filling, matching employers with people looking for work and making connections with new partners. A lunch was also provided by House of Welcome catering to give everyone energy to keep engaging.

On the day after the fair, people had already started emailing in thanks. People who attended the fair said it was ‘interesting’ and ‘well-organised’.

“People’s confidence was really boosted by seeing opportunities open up. Even if they didn’t get a job today, meeting employers who are open to hiring someone who is in the process of seeking asylum is hugely encouraging,” says Jeff.

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