Migrant and refugee job seekers in the Murray and South East regions of South Australia will benefit from a new project under the Australian Government’s Local Recovery Fund.

The Local Recovery Fund is an important part of the $276 million Local Jobs Program and the Australian Government’s Economic Recovery Plan.

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, said the Australian Red Cross will deliver the Connect, Match, Support and Driver Education South East project aimed at helping migrant and refugee job seekers gain important experience and skills.

‘Strong community links will continue to play a vital role in Australia’s recovery from COVID-19, and the Local Jobs Program is supporting this by getting people into work and meeting the needs of local employers,’ Minister Robert said.

‘Region-specific projects that address local needs highlight the value of Employment Facilitators, Local Jobs and Skills Taskforces, community organisations and businesses working together.

‘An important part of this targeted project will be to help migrant and refugee job seekers get their driver’s licence, boost job application skills and connect with local employers.’

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the Connect, Match, Support and Driver Education South East project will take a three-pronged approach to building participants’ job readiness.

‘This tailored project will give participants access to driving mentors who will help them gain experience on the road, get their probationary licence and educate them about vehicle safety,’ Mr Pasin said.

‘Mentors will also help participants with English language and computer training, access to volunteering opportunities, and job application and interview support.”

‘Participants will then be matched with employers to fill local job opportunities, which is such a vital component to the Murray and South East regions’ ongoing economic recovery from the pandemic.’ Mr Pasin said.

The Local Recovery Fund supports regions by funding tailored projects to help align job seekers with employment opportunities in their community.

Red Cross Limestone Coast Regional Services Manager, David Walshaw said this three-pronged approach will provide all candidates with the skills and abilities to help secure ongoing employment in the region.

‘Having a driver’s license is a necessary pre-requisite for many jobs but living and working in a regional setting it’s even more important, as you may have to travel long distances for work. Not having a licence can be a significant impediment to getting a job.’ Said Mr Walshaw.

‘Further, having great digital literacy and conversational English skills will greatly enhance the candidate’s ability to secure a position with any prospective employer which can only be a “win win” for all parties.’

‘The creation of this Local Jobs Network is a good opportunity to connect both prospective employers and job ready employees in the region and we welcome the Commonwealth Government’s support.’ Mr Walshaw said.

In the 2021-22 Budget, the Local Jobs Program was extended to 30 June 2025 and, from 1 July 2021, will be expanded from 25 Employment Regions to cover all 51 Employment Regions across Australia.

More details about the Local Jobs Program can be found at www.dese.gov.au/local-jobs-program