Victoria is stepping up its support to temporary visa holders – and has said anyone who has Australian working rights is eligible to participate in Working for Victoria.
What is Working for Victoria?
The $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. The initiative is part of the Victorian Government’s $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package. It is designed to connect workers with new opportunities that will help the community, and contribute to Victoria’s ability to respond to the pandemic.
Eligible workers can apply their skills to new roles or take up training opportunities for specific roles. At the same time, organisations and employers looking for workers can find experienced and screened staff who are ready to work.
As per their website, ‘anyone who possesses Australian working rights are eligible to participate’, and has been received positively by temporary visa holders in Victoria.
Temporary visa holders are an important constituent of the vibrant Australian community – some are studying as full-fee paying international students, some are here to visit family and friends, many to fill in essential skill shortages, and others to work and holiday. As per estimates by the Australian government, there were 2.17 million people presently in Australia on a temporary visa, as of 4th April, 2020.
Because COVID-19 does not see nationality, borders, race, or visa status – the pandemic has affected Australians and non-Australians alike. And as the government looks after Australians, the non-Australians were left out in the federal government’s relief measures. Between being told to go home amidst a global pandemic, and the inability to do so for many temporary visa-holders, temporary visa holders suffered equally if not more during the crisis.
Victoria had earlier announced its Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rent Relief Grant would not discriminate between temporary residents and permanent residents. Their inclusion in the $500 million Working for Victoria has given them a sense of recognition as recognised members of the community.
The Victorian Government has partnered with Sidekicker to match potential applicants with work aligned to their skills and experience.
One can visit www.vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria for further information.