PATHWAYS TO OPPORTUNITIES
Building on the success of Living in Between, Pathways to Opportunities will bring Students Against Racism’s diversity and inclusion training to local businesses to create connections with employers and show workplaces just what this group of incredible young people can do.
This project supports young people, who are in their final year of intensive English at TasTAFE, to transition from their supported English program to part time work and/or further study. This period is a challenging and daunting transition for any young person, and research shows that those from a refugee, migrant or asylum seeker background encounter additional barriers as they generally lack both knowledge of the Australian labour market and networks that can facilitate finding employment.
Concurrently, Tasmanian workplaces are undergoing significant changes. The Australian population is ageing and our community is becoming more diverse, which requires workers to become more competent in cross-cultural understanding.
We believe the Pathways to Opportunities project will provide students with real training and employment opportunities whilst assisting employers and Tasmanian workplaces to build understanding and social connections with people from different cultural backgrounds. The project will foster understanding, inclusion and cultural competence for all involved and subsequently meet the needs and goals of both students and workplaces.
The project provides two opportunities for employers:
Cross-cultural-awareness training through a deliver of Living in Between. The workshop has been delivered to over 10,000 people and won many awards including the 2015 Australian Human Rights Racism It Stops With Me Award. There is a cost for this workshop, which is negotiated with individual workplaces depending on their needs.
Work exposure or work placement for young people from the Students Against Racism group. Possibilities for this are flexible and each will be negotiated with a workplace to best suit its needs. The general distinction between work exposure and work placement is that work exposure provides an opportunity for a student or group of students to look inside a workplace at the roles available – it is intended to inform their aspirations for future career paths. Examples would be a group tour or an individual student "shadowing" an employee for a day. Work placement entails more active participation, typically three to five days in an entry level role that can demonstrate options for paid work in the more immediate future.
For the wider Tasmanian community, this program will build on what Students Against Racism does with Living in Between and enable increased understanding by all involved about the barriers, challenges and disadvantages faced by young people from migrant and refugee background trying to develop an educational pathway and gain employment, as well as an increased understanding of different cultures, religion and backgrounds in the Tasmanian community.
The Pathways to Opportunities project is a partnership between Students Against Racism, A
Fairer World and TasTAFE, with funding support from the Tasmanian Government.