Congolese Men and Women of Good Hope: The Legacies of Refugee Camps for Work Market Readiness in Hyper-Diverse Cities.
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The key question this thesis asks is the following: “What are the key determinants of market readiness for Congolese refugees in today’s hyper-diverse cities with particular focus on their Australian settlement?” This question is sparked by the lack of a wide ranging existing literature to develop a full understanding of Congolese refugees’ post-migration conditions and factors that influence their settlement and integration in their new home country including language, education, employment and social cohesion. But even less attention has been paid to these refugees’ pre-resettlement conditions and how they impact on Congolese refugees’ work market readiness in Australia, particularly in hyper-diverse cities. This study aims to highlight critical barriers to accessing meaningful employment within the Congolese communities in Australia and raise awareness about special needs of Congolese-Australians who have experienced long stays in the refugee camps. The research draws on original qualitative research that involves face-to-face interviews with ten female and ten male Congolese refugees resettled from various refugee camps in Africa. The thesis interrogates ongoing legacies of refugee camps for work readiness, community trust and social cohesion. These refugees’ stories, history and experiences are discussed in this research and they will become helpful to both migrant and non-migrant Australian communities to understand Congolese refugees’ performances in different sectors. Outlining the underlying factors of work market readiness in Australia will also enable the Congolese community and their settlement services providers to understand refugees’ need and the level of their readiness for the work market in Australia, to re-shape their business model to improve services delivery, promote social cohesion and help African refugees to access appropriate services. These factors, as discussed in greater detail in chapter four, include verbatim accounts of their health and wellbeing, their histories of torture and trauma, their prospects for education and training, the resettlement process, social network, social cohesion, self- confidence and self-image plus government policies and the cultural significance of work.
Master of Arts Research (MARes)
School of Hum, Lang & Soc Sc
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Refugee camps and violence