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Skilled refugees, employment and social inclusion: A Perth case study of three communities

Tilbury, F. and Colic-Peisker, V. (2007) Skilled refugees, employment and social inclusion: A Perth case study of three communities. In: Colic-Peisker, Val and Tilbury, Farida, (eds.) Settling in Australia: The social inclusion of refugees. Centre for Social and Community Research, Murdoch University, Murdoch Univesity, Perth, Western Australia, pp. 108-128.

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Abstract

The social inclusion of refugees in their host country is largely determined by their success in the labour market, and this affects many other aspects of life including social networks, income and general wellbeing. Using data from an ARC-funded study of the effects of 'visible difference' on refugee employment, this paper explores several dimensions of disadvantage that refugees in Western Australia face, and their impact on social inclusion. Five specific issues are discussed: employment outcomes; refugees in the secondary labour market; employers' explanations for inequitable outcomes and discriminatory practices in recruitment processes; perceptions of employment assistance services; and the effects of these phenomena on refugees' overall life satisfaction. Our data show a massive loss of occupational status among refugees, which is not only disadvantaging for the refugees but is also an economic and social loss to the Australian community. Data come from a survey of 150 refugees from three broad groups: ex-Yugoslav, Middle Eastern and African, as well as 40 interviews with employers and recruitment agents, four focus groups and nine follow up interviews with key informants.

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Social and Community Research
Publisher: Centre for Social and Community Research, Murdoch University
Copyright: Centre for Social and Community Research, Murdoch University
Publishers Website: http://www.murdoch.edu.au/
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/13180
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