Refugee Employment Support Program (RESP)

About the Refugee Employment Support Program

A four-year $22 million initiative by the NSW Government, managed by the NSW Department of Industry, the Refugee Employment Support Program (RESP) addresses the challenges that are experienced by refugees and asylum seekers in finding long term skilled employment opportunities.

By providing refugees and asylum seekers with employment support, the RESP will enable them to contribute productively to our community and the NSW economy.

The RESP will assist up to 6,000 refugees and 1,000 asylum seekers across Western Sydney and Illawarra, the areas where a majority of the refugees settle in NSW.

Outcomes-focused and innovative in its delivery models, the RESP helps participants to develop career plans and links them to employers, education and training as required.

The RESP also recognises that incoming refugees and asylum seekers bring with them a diverse set of skills and experiences. Such experiences play an important economic and social role by addressing skills shortages and through the creation of small businesses which support employment in our local communities.

The RESP is supported by the AMP Foundation.


What services does the RESP offer?

The RESP offers services and support to eligible individuals depending on their needs, such as:

Language – participants may be enrolled in a relevant language training course

Education and training – participants may be enrolled in Smart and Skilled training or in higher education.

Recognition of overseas skills/qualifications – participants may be assisted to gain recognition of their qualifications and/or skills in Australia with associated costs subsidised by the NSW Government.

Mentoring - an appropriate mentor may be identified and a meeting plan implemented.

Work Ready Development participants may receive assistance relating to basic employability skills, such as interview preparation and understanding Australian workplace culture and norms.

Work Experience – participants may be offered relevant work experience with one or more employers.

Business Skills Development – participants who wish to start a business may receive direct support and access to advisory services.


Who is eligible?

  • Refugees aged 18-55 at the time they first register with the RESP and who entered Australia from 1 December 2011 are eligible for the RESP in Western Sydney and Illawarra.
  • Asylum Seekers who are aged 18-55 at the time they first register with the RESP, hold bridging visas and are currently living in the community may access the RESP in Western Sydney.

Individuals can only be registered in the RESP where their visa provides work and/or study rights and their participation in the RESP will fully comply with their visa conditions.

Individuals accessing the Commonwealth Government’s Career Pathways Pilot for refugees living in Western Sydney are not able to register for the RESP.


How to access the RESP

The RESP is being delivered by Settlement Services International on behalf of the NSW Government. Settlement Services International is a community-based not-for-profit organisation which provided a range of services in the areas of refugee settlement, migrant support services, asylum seeker assistance, and multicultural foster care in NSW.

Contact Settlement Services International to enquire or to register with the RESP:

For refugees and asylum seekers in Western Sydney: For refugees (only) in Illwarra:
Level 2, 462 Chapel Road, BANKSTOWN NSW 2200 71-77 Kembla Street, WOLLONGONG NSW 2500
Phone: 02 8713 9366 Phone: 02 8713 9366
Email: resp@ssi.org.au Email: resp@ssi.org.au

Definitions

A Refugee is an individual who holds one of the following permanent visas:

  • Protection Visa (Class XA) (Subclass 866)
  • Refugee Visa (Class XB) (Subclass 200)
  • In-country Special Humanitarian Visa (Class XB) (Subclass 201)
  • Global Special Humanitarian (Class XB) (Subclass 202)
  • Emergency Rescue Visa (Class XB) (Subclass 203)
  • Woman at Risk Visa (Class XB) (Subclass 204)

or has been granted a permanent visa of any subclass by the Minister for Immigration following an application under s.417 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).

An Asylum Seeker is an individual who:

  • has applied to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for one of the visas listed under the definition of Refugee which is yet to be determined; or
  • has applied to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for one of the following temporary visas:
    • Temporary Protection Visa (Class XD) (Subclass 785)
    • Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (Class XE) (Subclass 790)

which is yet to be determined; or

  • holds one of the following temporary visas:
    • Temporary Protection Visa (Class XD) (Subclass 785)
    • Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (Class XE) (Subclass 790); or
  • has made an application under s.417 or s.48b of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) which is yet to be determined and holds a bridging visa which grants permission to work.
Page last updated: 28 July 2017