Refugee Council of Australia
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Barriers to education for people seeking asylum and refugees on temporary visas

Access to apprenticeships

Access to apprenticeships has also been highlighted as another barrier for people seeking asylum. Those who are denied work rights are not able to enrol in an apprenticeship course. Those who have work rights face furthers barriers, including enrolment restrictions and the costs of training. A number of service providers also highlighted that people seeking asylum are unable to participate in apprenticeships as their current bridging visa only lasts for one year, while most apprenticeships take over three years to complete.

Enrolment restrictions prevent people enrolling into an apprenticeship when the course duration is greater than the visa period. In addition, those undertaking an apprenticeship are still required to pay for the course fees and are not eligible for loan schemes.
In addition, refugees TPVs and SHEVs typically will not be eligible for the Commonwealth incentives for apprenticeships. However they can be signed up into Traineeship/Apprenticeship programs as long as the Nominal Duration of the qualification ends prior to the expiry date listed on their Visa Document.

Recommendation 8

RCOA recommends that the Federal and State Governments ensure complete access to traineeships and apprenticeships for people seeking asylum and refugees on temporary visas, including access to incentive programs and loan schemes.

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