Woolworths extends tech career pathways to refugees

Shahad, Sarmad and other refugees joining Woolworths Refugee Digital and Technology Cadet Program. (Source: Supplied.)

Refugees with in-demand tech skills will embark on a paid cadetship program instituted by the Woolworths Group.

Refugees with tech qualifications and experience often struggle to obtain employment without prior work experience in Australia.

A 12-week paid Refugee Digital and Technology Cadetship Program will train eight Iraqi and Syrian refugees across Woolworths Group’s Technology, WooliesX Technology and WiQ data analytics teams.

The program is created in partnership with a diversity and inclusion firm, Community Corporate which will match refugees with cadetships based on their skills, training, education and certification provided by ServiceNow.

Catherine Hunter, Woolworths Group GM of inclusion, said: “This program makes clear the incredible reciprocal value we can create by better including our refugee community and recognising the valuable skills they bring with them to Australia.”

Refugee cadets with Woolworths team members. Supplied.

She added it is a strategic program that will engage “underutilised” tech talents in fields where there is a demand.

According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, only 25 per cent of refugees find employment within the first two years of their arrival in Australia.

Carmen Garcia, CEO of Community Corporate, said: “Now is the time to trial an alternative pathway for industry to access a skilled workforce by unleashing the untapped potential of our refugees.”

The program is expected to include 30 refugee cadets with the Woolworths Group over the next 18 months. Once the cadetship is completed, participants will be placed in a permanent position.

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