Asylum Seekers: Voc. Ed. & Training in Communities (Not-for-Profit)


ASRC forms partnerships with businesses and organisations to help support our work and change the lives of people in need.

Asylum seekers are not eligible to access Centrelink or Job Services Australia support, nor Government employment and training programs such as apprenticeships and traineeships.

These difficulties are compounded by significant language barriers, unfamiliarity with Australian society and systems, and the burden of mental health issues resulting from highly traumatic life experiences.

Without employment, many asylum seekers face destitution.

The Australian Asylum Seekers Resource Centre works together to remove barriers to employment for asylum seekers.

Employment, Training and Skills Development – Winter Appeal 2015

Meet Sophie, head of Australian Asylum Seekers Resource Centre Employment Programs in our Innovation Hub. Hear how we help empower asylum seekers through building their job networks & finding work. Employment, Training and Skills Development – Winter Appeal 2015.

Australian Asylum Seekers Resource Centres

Since 2001 the ASRC has grown to be Australia’s largest asylum seeker organisation. With 32 paid staff and nearly 750 volunteers delivering services to over 1,200 asylum seekers at any one time through programs such as material aid, health, legal, counselling, casework and foodbank. In its first 9 years the ASRC has assisted over 7000 people seeking asylum, provided more than 1 million hours of free help and turned no one in need away. All of this has been achieved with almost no government funding and more than 95% of our funding coming solely from the community and philanthropy. The ASRC does it all – from direct aid, welfare and medical care, to strengthening families and communities through community development, to campaigning for social change.

The ASRC is a place where people are made to feel welcome, safe and supported. Despite the rapid and enormous growth since the centre opened – in the number of people the ASRC helps, the services the ASRC offers and the people who volunteer at the ASRC – the ASRC has not lost the ethos and spirit upon which it was founded. The ASRC still has the same multi-coloured walls that it had back in 2001 that make people feel at home. The mish mash of earthy recycled furniture is still at the ASRC too, where people can rest their weary bodies and spirits. Beautiful, exotic smells emanate from the ASRC community lunches every weekday and one is surrounded by the sounds of the rich mosaic of languages from across the globe.

The ASRC has always been about people and nothing else. The only reason the ASRC opened and continues to exist is to make sure asylum seekers get a fair go. At the ASRC we don’t believe in people being too hard or complex to work with. In fact the more vulnerable or marginalised a person is the more important it is that we support them. At the ASRC we believe in the potential of people. At the ASRC we believe in the extraordinary resilience and courage of asylum seekers. At the ASRC we believe in hope.

Get your company engaged

You can be involved in a number of ways:

  1. Financial sponsorship – You can choose to sponsor any or all of the 23 programs at the ASRC that address areas of Aid, Empowerment, Justice or Community.
  2. Workplace giving – Regular, tax-deductible donations have a powerful impact on the lives of asylum seekers. A donation of as little as $20 can help us provide a week’s worth of groceries to feed a family of four.
  3. Employment and work experience opportunities – You can contribute to the ASRC Employment Program via financial support, work experience placements or employment opportunities.
  4. Corporate volunteering – We provide a structured volunteering program for your staff that provides a range of activities so they can get either hands-on experience or provide skilled support.
  5. Events – Have some fun and make use of one the wide range of fundraising events on the corporate calendar, or come up with an idea of your own! Your project will demonstrate initiative and leadership skills, and help raise valuable funds plus your staff will enjoy being creative and active at the same time.
  6. Pro-Bono work – Support through pro-bono work is critical for both operational and efficient service provision to our clients. If you have any skills and expertise that you would like to share, we are more than happy to speak to you.
  7. Use our catering service – Organising a work function or a big social event? Look no further than our ASRC Catering social enterprise service, which creates inspired international dishes at competitive prices.
  8. In-kind support – Run a mobile phone or consumables drive. In-kind support is the lifeblood of the centre, providing much needed material aid to asylum seekers.

*Contact Australian Asylum Seekers Resource Centre:

*National Directory of Asylum Seeker and Refugee Service Providers:

Student Debt up as private VET courses cost four times TAFE

by Natasha Bita, National Education Correspondent,Brisbane TMARCH 16, 2015

PRIVATE training colleges are charging up to four times more for courses than government-run TAFE institutions, inflating the nation’s ballooning bill for student debt.

The cost of some private training courses now rivals that of a quality university degree.

A survey by The Australian shows that students enrolled in a one-year, part-time diploma of salon management — which does not qualify them to work as a hairdresser or beautician — costs $27,880 at the Australasian College in Sydney.

A three-year arts degree at the nearby University of Technology, Sydney, will cost students $18,456, after federal subsidies.

A 30-week diploma of travel and tourism from Martin College costs $16,440 — compared with $29,700 for a three-year bachelor of economics degree from Sydney University.

The Academy of Hypnotic Science­ is advertising a $10,602 dip­loma of hypnotherapy for preg­nancy and childbirth involving 21 days’ study — half the cost of becoming a university-qualified nurse.

The University of Adelaide’s three-year bachelor of nursing degree costs $18,450, while stud­ents pay $25,688 for Deakin University’s four-year bachelor of midwifery degree.

A university teaching degree costs less than twice as much as a “life coach” diploma.

A four-year bachelor of teaching degree (primary) at the University of Sydney costs $24,608, while Estrada College charges $13,085 for a 16-month dip­loma of life coaching.

In all cases, students can borrow the course costs from the federal government and pay them back through the tax system once they earn more than $53,345 a year. If they earn less, students never have to pay the money back and taxpayers carry the debt.

Last year alone, 180,000 stud­ents borrowed $1.6 billion through the student loan scheme to pay for vocational education and training diploma fees in courses inclu­ding hypnotherapy, personal fitness and “energetic healing’’.

Australian Education Union research shows that some private colleges are charging students four times more than government-run TAFE courses for similar courses.

A diploma of business at TAFE NSW, for example, costs $2510, compared with $11,496 at the private Martin College.

Assistant Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham has ruled out capping course costs for the VET system.

“Rather than this government attempting to set arbitrary price caps — which is exactly what we are trying to avoid doing in the university sector — we want to make sure consumers have better information about the debt they incur and the quality of the course,’’ Senator Birmingham told The Australian.

He has announced wide-­ranging reforms to the VET sector that will ban private colleges from charging full fees upfront.

Colleges will also be banned from offering “free’’ laptops, iPads, cash or meals to “induce’’ students to sign up for courses, and will no longer be able to offer “fast-track’’ diplomas delivered in a matter of weeks.

The Australian Education Union’s federal TAFE secretary, Pat Forward, called for a halt to VET privatisation.

“In some cases, students are being charged over $30,000 for VET diploma qualifications which are being delivered in months or weeks, rather than the 12-18 months recommended by the Australian Qualifications Framework,’’ she said.

National Tertiary Education Union president Jeannie Rea said the high VET fees would set a precedent for the Abbott government’s plan to deregulate the university system.

“This does set a precedent and shows us how the open market gets out of control,’’ she said yesterday.

“When you have deregulation and subsidisation of private providers, it just means they can charge whatever they reckon they can get away with, and it forces all the prices up.’’


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