JRS Australia assists newly arrived refugees from Afghanistan prepare for employment

12 April 2024

Related: Livelihoods
JRS Australia White Card March 2022

JRS Australia’s growing Employment Program, funded by the PAYCE Foundation, is working hard to support some of Australia’s newest refugee arrivals.

Recently, the team collaborated with City East Community College to deliver ‘white card’ training to newly arrived refugees from Afghanistan. Many among those who have recently arrived are exploring different opportunities for employment and training to assist their settlement journey and contribute to the Australian community.

A ‘white card’ is required to work in the construction industry in Australia. The training assisted participants to gain a comprehensive picture of Work Health & Safety (WHS) and legislative requirements, enabling them to have a better understanding of what to expect when working on a construction site.

One participant told JRS Australia “I would like to start working and for me, this training is very important to have a better understanding of the industry.” Another participant added, “I have worked in construction before in Afghanistan and that is something I would like to continue in Australia.”

Speaking about the utility of the training, a community leader from Afghanistan said, “thank you very much…for the environment and all facilities provided by JRS Australia…[I] highly appreciate it and I will also recommend many others from our Afghan youth association.”

This leader has recently created an association for newly arrived Afghan youth to participate in employment, training and education opportunities. The association was first established in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2021, when Afghans were evacuated at short notice to regional destinations prior to settlement in countries such as Australia. The association began its work in assisting with accommodation and medical help for Afghans in refugee camps.

After completion of the white card training course, participants will receive an induction card and can begin their journey to work safely in the construction industry. Since late last year, JRS Australia has been working closely with newly arrived communities from Afghanistan and assisted with laptops, access to the food bank service, and to up-skilling and certification opportunities in the forklift and security industries.