Many international students in Australia are now without jobs as the country suffers the greatest economic contraction since the Great Depression due to the restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Much of the AU$130 billion federal stimulus package excludes international students but state governments and universities are stepping up to help them during these turbulent times.
Canberra recently announced an AU$20 million Jobs for Canberrans’ fund will provide employment opportunities with the ACT Public Service from now until June 2021. International students in Canberra will be able to apply for these jobs.
According to a release, Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said, “Many international students, just like their Australian friends, have seen their part-time jobs disappear overnight through no fault of their own. They continue to live and study here, despite losing their income and not being eligible for the Government’s JobKeeper support package.”
“Universities Australia welcomes the ‘Jobs for Canberrans’ plan and the decision to give the highest priority to those who are ineligible for existing Federal Government support.”
Furthermore, she said that UA was continuing discussions with federal and state governments on providing hardship support to international students in Australia.
“The ACT Government will benefit from having some very talented, industrious and appreciative international students working for them. And international students have the chance to earn some much-needed income.”
Besides Canberra, international students in Victoria can also seek part-time jobs under the “Working for Victoria” initiative under the Victorian Government’s AU$1.7 billion Economic Survival Package “designed to connect workers with new opportunities that will help our community and contribute to Victoria’s ability to respond to the pandemic.”
According to the Victorian Government website, “The AU$500 million Working for Victoria initiative helps Victorians, including people who have lost their jobs due to the economic impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), find new work opportunities. Some of these roles will provide vital contributions to our state’s response to the pandemic. We want to support as many Victorians getting back into work as quickly as possible.”
The initiative helps connect workers to employers based on their skills and experience. Employers can screen workers who are suitable for the roles. International students in Australia can register their details and access jobs through the website.
SBS recently reported that the programme is placing job seekers in jobs such as food preparation and delivery for vulnerable people, as well as jobs linked to quarantine programmes for those returning from abroad, such as transport operations, cleaning, and security.
Many have also landed jobs in call centres, minor maintaining, landscaping and upgrading public space.
Additionally, those registered on the website can access free online courses in cleaning, food hygiene, first aid and other important skills that help them land employment.