The job-seeking experiences of migrants and refugees in the Australian construction industry

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Building Research and Information, 2021, 49, (8), pp. 912-929
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
International migrant and refugee numbers are at record levels and continue to grow. The construction industry is a major source of potential employment for migrants and refugees and emerging social and sustainable procurement policies in many parts of the world are also requiring construction supply chains to employ refugees and migrants as a condition of public sector contracts. However, there is virtually no research into the barriers that refugees and migrants face in seeking decent employment in the construction sector. Addressing this important gap in knowledge an exploratory survey of refugees' and migrants' job-seeking experiences in the Australian construction industry is presented. Results show that by far the greatest barrier to employment is lack of construction industry experience, followed by poor recognition of previous skills and experience. Recent migrants and refugees and those with the greatest previous experience of working in construction face the greatest barriers in finding decent work. Men from an Arabic background also experience greater difficulties than other cultural groups. It is recommended that policy-makers develop more initiatives to provide work experience and engage with construction employers about the challenges which refugees and migrants face in finding work in construction.
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