New research highlights refugee contribution
Friday, 17 June 2011
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, today released new research that shows refugees in Australia are likely embrace work opportunities in regional areas, display entrepreneurial qualities and undertake volunteer work as part of a significant contribution to society.
Mr Bowen said the Economic, Social And Civic Contributions Of First And Second Generation Humanitarian Entrants report by Professor Graeme Hugo was the first comprehensive study that also looked at second-generation refugees in Australia.
'In the lead-up to World Refugee Day celebrations, the government has commissioned this research to better understand the economic, social and civic contributions of humanitarian entrants or refugees to Australia,' Mr Bowen said.
'While many refugees do encounter difficulties in the early years of their settlement here, this research shows that refugees make an important contribution to Australia in areas including social engagement, workforce participation and business ownership.
'For example, it finds that humanitarian entrants are increasingly settling in rural and regional areas, which creates social and economic benefits for local communities.'
The research indicates that humanitarian entrants make a significant contribution to volunteering, and provides evidence that a higher proportion of refugees display entrepreneurial qualities compared with other migrant groups.
Professor Hugo also found that humanitarian entrants provided a unique contribution to the economy by taking on low-skilled jobs not filled by other workers, filling important shortages in the labour market.
'With the support of Australia's world-class settlement services, most humanitarian entrants are able to adjust effectively over time and eventually match Australian levels of economic and social contribution, especially those in the second generation,' Mr Bowen said.
The report is based on Census data, interviews conducted with hundreds of humanitarian entrants, and in-depth discussions with more than 70 key stakeholders in the refugee, employment and business sectors across Australia.
Findings from the research will be used to inform government decision-making in a variety of areas related to humanitarian entrants.
A full copy of the report and a summary of key findings are available on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's website.
See: Research Publications > Economic, Civic and Social Contributions of First and Second Generation Humanitarian Entrants
Last update: Friday, 17 June 2011 at 14:25 AEST