Authors: Dr Mariana Atkins, Dr Duc Dau and Alina Evans
The Multicultural Enterprise Development Project was designed to assist people from refugee, humanitarian or culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds living in Western Australia to improve their employment opportunities and social integration through targeted support.
Unemployment is the biggest threat to migrant communities and their ability to actively participate in Australian society.
People from refugee and migrant backgrounds face significant challenges in gaining employment and integrating socially within mainstream society for a number of reasons including, having poor social networks, low English language proficiency, lack of local work experience, non-recognition of qualifications, and high levels of discrimination in the labour market.
The Multicultural Enterprise Development Project was funded under the Department of Social Service’s ‘Try, Test and Learn’ Fund designed to support people at risk of long-term welfare dependence.
A joint initiative of the Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and Multicultural Futures, in partnership with Business Foundations, the project was evaluated by the Centre for Social Impact UWA.
Participants in the program either received targeted business training through social enterprises or received tailored NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) program support.
The NEIS support was effectively delivered to enable people from refugee and migrant backgrounds to participate in the program through practical and psychosocial support.