Pilot program – refugees into professions

Pilot program aims to return skilled refugees to chosen professions
ABC News – James Hancock – 30 April 2018 

PHOTO: Iraqi refugee Marwa Albana dreams of returning to work as a doctor. (Danielle Bonica)
Marwa Albana is starting from scratch.

She used to work as a doctor in her homeland of Iraq. That was before the 28-year old’s Christian family was forced to flee religious persecution.

Melbourne provided a haven.

But for more than three years now, the profession she loves has been off limits.

The refugee’s medical qualifications — along with those of her father and brother — are not recognised in Australia.

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MP to push for ongoing funding

The program participants include doctors, engineers, pharmacists and dentists in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Hobart and Toowoomba.

More than $5 million in Commonwealth funding was provided for the Career Pathways Pilot for Humanitarian Entrants program.

It is open to those who have lived in Australia for no more than five years and “speak English well” to make use of their professional and trade skills.

The program has only been fully operating a few months but the federal Assistant Minister for Children and Families, David Gillespie, already wants to make it permanent.

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