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Greens call on Treasurer to use unspent Back to Work funds to support migrants

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Ellen Sandell
State MP for Melbourne
12 November 2015

Greens MP for Melbourne, Ellen Sandell, is calling on the Victorian Government to re-direct unspent Back to Work funds to employment services for culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
"The Back to Work scheme only succeeded in creating 164 jobs in July to September, far short of the 12,500 target for that period. It's clearly targeting the wrong areas, and I want to help the Government fix it."
"For people who have arrived in Australia the last five years, unemployment is 12%, which is double the state average. These people often have qualifications and want to work, but face barriers due to prejudice. Many of us have met PhD graduates who are driving taxis.
"I personally know many people in my electorate who were born and educated in Australia, but can't get a job because of the background or colour of their skin. As soon as they change their name on applications from Mohammed to David, the phone starts ringing."
"There are excellent programs targeting this very problem, like the Melbourne Employment Forum. These programs do a lot with just a fraction of the money allocated for the Back to Work program, but are starved of funds."
"I called on the Treasurer in Parliament today to allocate a small amount of the Back to Work money to targeted migrant and diverse employment services, so we can create jobs in Victoria and help people create a good life for their families."
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Ellen Sandell
State MP for Melbourne
12 November 2015
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