Agency network WPP AUNZ has inked its commitment to helping humanitarian entrants into Australia find professional work, signing a multi-year partnership with CareerSeekers to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which was celebrated on Monday.
Other organisations supporting the partnership include the City of Sydney, Colonial First State, the Greater Western Sydney Giants, GHD, Goodman Fielder, Herbert Smith Freehills, IAG, Lendlease, Macquarie University, Mirvac and Norton Rose Fulbright.
CareerSeekers is a non-profit organisation that supports Australia’s humanitarian entrants into professional careers. Under the partnerships, WPP AUNZ will provide paid internships to the university student and mid-career professional participants.
Currently, WPP AUNZ has one previous CareerSeeker, Jalal Albashara, who joined one of its operating companies, opr more than 12 months ago after fleeing Syria, then Iraq and arriving in Sydney with his brother and sister.
Albashara is now a full-time assistant accountant for opr. He started an internship for 12 weeks and this moved to a permanent position in February 2018.
“Joining opr Agency has helped me in many ways of my life,” he said.
“My role allows me to stay in touch with like-minded professionals who have helped me shape my career pathway, and it puts me in a place where I am more confident expressing myself and my ideas.
“It also means that I am part of a team, which deepens my level of engagement.
“Overall, this opportunity makes me feel more accepted, and has made it easier to resettle in Australia and become an effective and productive member of the community.”
WPP AUNZ chief HR and talent officer Elissa Goods-Omozuzi said: the company is committed to diversity and inclusion.
“This partnership is a real, practical way that we can provide opportunities for people resettling in Australia and, at the same time, enabling our teams to learn from new and different people, with different perspectives and cultures,” she said.
“We are proud to be a CareerSeekers partner.”
Michael Combs, founder and CEO of CareerSeekers, said: “This year, up to 18,500 visas will be issued as part of Australia’s refugee and humanitarian program.
“Historically, on average, 17 per cent of arrivals are employed after 18 months of arrival. A lack of local experience and references are cited as the major barrier to entry for professional employment.
“Employment is a crucial contributor to the successful resettlement of refugees, and the CareerSeekers program accelerates resumption of participants’ professional careers and their settlement in the Australian community.”
Since CareerSeekers was established in late 2015, it has helped over 400 people into paid internships. Of these interns, 77 per cent have gone on to secure professional employment.
WPP AUNZ will work with CareerSeekers next year to place five interns with our operating companies.