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

Benefits of addressing barriers to education

The key benefit of addressing barriers to education is improved employment outcomes. Being able to obtain or upgrade qualifications which are recognised in Australia will broaden career options for people seeking asylum and refugees on TPVs and SHEVs. For young people who are exiting secondary school and have not yet had the opportunity to undertake further education or skills training, access to tertiary study will be particularly important.

Access to education will also contribute to more positive settlement outcomes for TPV and SHEV holders. While they remain temporary residents, they will nonetheless be residing in Australia on a long-term basis (at least three to five years). Moreover, as international crises continue to escalate, it is very likely that those on TPVs and SHEVs will remain in Australia for extended periods of time. The last time TPVs were introduced, more than 9,500 of the 11,000 people granted TPVs received a Permanent Protection Visa when their TPVs expired. As well as the unnecessary trauma caused by uncertain visa status, denying refugees on temporary visas access to education support prevents people from increasing their skills and contributing to Australia’s economy, effectively forcing people into lower-skilled and lower-paid work.

Providing opportunities for people seeking asylum and TPV and SHEV holders to develop their skills, secure sustainable employment and establish a meaningful career pathway will help to ensure that they are able to settle successfully in Australia.

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