Allianz and SSI launch employment program for young refugees

14 September 2017

Allianz Australia and Settlement Services International (SSI) have launched a new program that aims to teach young refugees basic business skills and help them find a job.

The ‘Allianz Ladder’ program – part of Allianz Group’s global commitment to encouraging future generations – will familiarise refugee youths in a business environment and help them develop the core skills and confidence they need to find their first job in Australia.

“Finding employment is often the primary goal for refugees of working age, but due to barriers – including the need to professionally retrain and lack of English language proficiency – many face occupational skidding and welfare dependency,” said SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis.

“This situation is compounded for young refugees who, through major life disruption, may not have completed formal education or gained work experience.”

The Allianz Ladder program includes a series of workshops and mentoring sessions that will help participants develop foundation business skills such as problem solving, innovation, communication and teamwork.

Allianz Australia (AAL) is already a proven corporate leader in tackling refugee employment. Its Sustainable Employment Program established last year has provided 15 refugees with tailored development and career management plans, leading to permanent employment.

“At Allianz we are committed to social inclusion and tackling refugee employment is an important part of this,” Allianz Sustainability and Diversity General Manager, Charis Martin-Ross said.

“This has only been possible through close partnership with SSI given their deep expertise in addressing barriers to employment for refugees and migrants.”

Martin-Ross added that it also makes good business sense for companies to build a culturally diverse workforce.

“Australia is a multicultural nation: four out of five people were born overseas or have a parent born overseas. In this regard, understanding and responding to the needs of our culturally diverse customers is vital,” she said.

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