Refugee employment pilot

Information about our refugee employment pilot project that is set to start in October 2023.

Refugee employment pilot

We recognise that former refugees bring a wealth of experience and skills with them when they resettle in New Zealand, however they can face barriers to securing employment that is meaningful and durable. In October 2023 we announced our refugee employment pilot in Palmerston North.

This pilot will support former refugees into employment that is meaningful and sustainable. The pilot will be tailored to support refugees to access employment and development opportunities relevant to their skills and aspirations. It will also be a way to engage with the private sector to reduce barriers to refugee employment.

Workbridge — Te Arawhiti mō Mahi, a nation-wide provider of employment services, will be implementing the Refugee Employment pilot. Workbridge — Te Arawhiti mō Mahi has a long history of mahi with both jobseekers and employers bringing them together to develop employment opportunities that are both durable and meaningful.

Workbridge — Te Arawhiti mō Mahi website

Opening date

The service is expected to open for referrals in late-October 2023. Referrals to the service will be made by government agencies and community organisations, such as:

  • The Ministry of Social Development
  • The Ministry of Education
  • Manawatū Chamber of Commerce
  • Palmerston North City Council,
  • and more.

Refugees who wish to access the service will also be able to self-refer. More information about how to self-refer will be available here soon.

Who can apply

The programme is open to:

  • Quota refugees
  • Convention refugees
  • Refugee Family Support Category visa holders
  • Community Organisation Sponsorship (CORs) visa holders, and
  • Afghan Response and Afghan Interpreters.