17 NSW agencies heed Peter Shergold’s call to recruit refugees

The New South Wales public service is working to place newly arrived refugees in government jobs that could be vital stepping stones into their new lives, through arrangements set up by resettlement co-ordinator Peter Shergold.

Peter Shergold is almost halfway to his goal of finding 100 jobs for recently arrived refugees in the New South Wales public sector this year, as part of his special role co-ordinating the state government’s resettlement programs.

Shergold said various casual and permanent positions had been found for 40 refugees so far — not necessarily with a view to them all becoming career public servants, but more as a way to help them get “a foot in the door” of the Australian workforce more generally, while they improve their English and work to improve skills or get recognition for existing qualifications.

“The aim is to use the public service as a stepping stone into employment,” Shergold told The Mandarin yesterday, taking time out from an employment expo to support the plan that was hosted by the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet and attended by representatives of 17 agencies.

Attendees were invited to ask questions of panels featuring staff from agencies that have made refugee-specific jobs available, including the Department of Justice, the Department of Planning and Environment, Fire and Rescue NSW and Transport NSW.

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