QUESTION ABOUT MULTICULTURAL EMPLOYMENT

Mr ELMES: My question without notice is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Will the minister commit to extending the work the former LNP government did with Access Community Services in order to ensure we secure more industry partnerships to help newly arrived Queenslanders into work? 

Ms FENTIMAN: I thank the member for the question. I am very proud to the multicultural affairs minister at this time. There are a number of vulnerable refugees and migrants that we need to work harder to support. I have been working very closely with Access Community Services in my own community in Logan and with a number of settlement organisations to support our multicultural communities. 

Finding multicultural members of our community, migrants and refugees pathways into employment is something that this government is absolutely committed to doing. We are absolutely committed to generating jobs and helping refugees and migrants find those skills to lead them into employment pathways. There is not one single approach that will help overcome the barriers faced by migrants and refugees and achieve the employment outcomes that we need so see. By capitalising on the resources and expertise of my department and our partners, we will set a target of supporting an additional 400 migrants and refugees in the 2015-16 financial year, which is significantly higher than the previous government’s jobs target. 

Following the introduction of the first multicultural recognition legislation that Queensland will see, my department will be developing a new multicultural policy and action plan that will outline significant strategies to help drive employment for our culturally and linguistically diverse Queenslanders. I am happy to report to the House on a new initiative that I have asked my department to consider. I will be working with the Public Service Commissioner to ensure that there are employment pathways for workforce participation in our government for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. I believe that this government, as the largest employer in this state, should be a model employer, and making sure that we can find employment pathways within the Public Service for migrants, refugees, those members from our culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds will be a priority for me and this government. 

I am pleased to say, as the Attorney has outlined today, that the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program will be coming back to Queensland, and culturally and linguistically diverse communities are a key target group for this very successful program. Eight thousand Queenslanders will be supported in the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program this financial year— 

Mrs D’Ath: Just this round.

Ms FENTIMAN: Just this round—and I am pleased to see that our culturally and linguistically will be a priority group for that very successful program. Already we have seen in just the first round a number of organisations successful in their tenders that will work specifically with migrants and refugees and members of our multicultural communities. We are determined to find those employment pathways for culturally and linguistically diverse Queenslanders.