Refugee Experiences of Finding Decent Work in the Australian Construction Industry

Association of Researchers in Construction Management
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:, 2020, 1, (1), pp. 65-74
Issue Date:
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Construction is a major source of employment for refugees in most countries yet there has been a surprising lack of research into their experiences of securing work in the industry. Addressing this gap and also the lack of voice for refugees in the construction management literature, this paper reports the results of a survey of refugees who have worked or attempted to seek work in the Australian construction industry. Findings reveal that the main perceived barriers to securing decent employment in construction relate to lack of local work experience, employers discriminating against refugees and not recognising previous qualifications, skills and experience and both employment agencies and employers not understanding the challenges they face. Government procedures and systems are also perceived to be overly complex. Recommendations are made to address these barriers including initiatives to provide refugees with work experience in the industry, education to break-down negative stereotypes of refugees among employers and simplification and targeting of government and employment agency systems and procedures.
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