Breakthrough for Refugees and Asylum Seekers under Smart and Skilled

The NSW Government has recently announced new initiatives that will be implemented to support asylum seekers and refugees gain skills to find work.

Asylum seekers and refugees who commence their training from 1 January 2017 will be able to access fee-free training under Smart and Skilled for all qualifications up to Certificate IV level.

Importantly, asylum seekers will also be eligible to apply for subsidised training in higher level qualifications such as Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas under Smart and Skilled from this date.

Federation has worked with a number of other organisations who also support refugees and asylum seekers to improve access to training and educational opportunities and this new announcement is the result of this work.

Under these new provisions the state Government will expand access to government subsidised vocational education and training under Smart and Skilled for holders of bridging visas, temporary humanitarian concern visas and temporary humanitarian stay visas.

The Federation welcomes these changes and call on members who work with and/or have contact with refugee and asylum seeker communities to inform them of these changes and assist them in accessing these training courses.

Of course there is still much to do in this area and the continuing plight of refugees on Manus Island and Nauru must be resolved. Federation will continue to make representations on these matters and work with other organisations supporting and pursuing just treatment for all asylum seekers and refugees.

For more information go to the Training Services NSW website or go directly to

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