A new guide is being developed to help New Zealand employers recruit jobseekers from refugee backgrounds.

The project is a collaboration between not-for-profit HOST International NZ and the Centre for Centre for Refugee Employment, Advocacy, Training and Education (CREATE) at Australia’s Deakin University, and partners at Monash University and Australian National University.

Job seekers with refugee backgrounds, even with years of professional experience or are tertiary-qualified, often have difficulty finding employment and remain unemployed.

In order to assist employers in the recruitment process, guidelines will be developed to make the process easier for companies to hire people from a refugee or asylum-seeking background.

This will be an adapted version of the guide developed for Australian employers published in March 2019. It was produced from the findings of a study conducted by Deakin, Monash and Australian National Universities that examined why some organisations actively hire people from a refugee background and others won’t.

HOST International NZ and CREATE have recently formed a partnership with the aim to help people with refugee backgrounds settle more effectively into their lives.

CREATE, part of Deakin University in Melbourne, has a focus on supporting former refugees to rebuild their careers, gain meaningful employment, and access vocational training and education.

This sits well alongside HOST International NZ’s work, bridging the gap between global talent from a refugee background and employers experiencing skills shortages. Their work includes encouraging a strengths-based narrative that acknowledges the wealth of professional and personal experience that can enrichen both individual lives and those of the wider NZ society.

Professor Alex Newman, Director of Deakin CREATE, says: “The creation of this partnership with HOST NZ comes at a perfect time when we were looking for opportunities to share our learning and resources across new countries where we know we can add value.”

“The partnership with CREATE is the perfect opportunity to work collaboratively to build better outcomes for job seekers in New Zealand. Producing these guidelines will highlight practical steps that NZ employers can take to employ this global talent pool,” says Rochelle Stewart-Allen, HOST International NZ Chief Executive.