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Research into the employment barriers for migrant women

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Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women

20 June 2014

Research into the employment barriers for migrant women

The Australian Government is providing $100,000 over the next two years to AMES to investigate employment barriers for migrant women.

Not only will the research provide Government with an analysis of existing barriers, it will recommend practical interventions to support migrant women entering Australia to gain employment.

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash said she was pleased to be supporting research into the barriers to employment for migrant women.

“It is important for Australia that women migrants are enabled to enter the workforce,” Minister Cash said.

“Australia’s future economic prosperity is dependent upon a larger, more highly skilled and qualified workforce.”

Minister Cash said from the limited information that is available about migrant women’s experience of finding employment in Australia, it is clear that barriers to employment are genuine and oppressive.

“Women entering Australia through the skilled visa stream are more likely to be unemployed, under-employed, or to be in jobs that do not fully use their skills and experience, despite having the same skills and qualifications as men entering through this visa stream,” Minister Cash said.

“The benefits of employment for women arriving in Australia are obvious, but should not be understated. Employment provides women with new connections and social networks, and with increased opportunities to develop skills, improve English language proficiency and gain Australian qualifications.

“Without the ability to earn an income, women are also more susceptible to poverty and homelessness, and more vulnerable if they experience family violence.”

The research will have a national scope, drawing on a wide range of data sources including in-depth qualitative research with newly arrived migrant women, employers and other stakeholders in Australia, as well as gender analysis of existing data developed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection such as the Continuous Survey of

Australia’s Migrants.


Media enquiries: David De Garis 0427 019 692