Jobs for Refugees – Extending a German initiative to Australia


Dr Rainer Kurz from Stuttgart/Germany started the initiative “Jobs-for-Refugees” for which he was recently honoured with the Demography Excellence Award for successfully placing academic refugees into qualified jobs.

Rainer Kurz holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering and worked as business consultant at McKinsey and Gemini Consulting and now at Rainer Kurz Business Consulting. In 2004 he founded Freelance-Market as a marketplace for freelancers of all professions.

Dr Rainer Kurz said “the German experience could also be applied in Australia as the Australian twin marketplace is also willing to endeavour in a similar initiative”.  Refugees are eager to integrate often struggle to start working.

For example, in September 2015 Australia announced a one off intake of 12,000 Syrian refugees from Middle Eastern refugee camps.  This influx brings challenges both to those wanting to help and the refugees themselves.  To help meet that challenge, now supports refugees to find a job while helping Australian companies to overcome skill shortages.

Dr Rainer Kurz said “refugees and asylum recipients living in Australia can use its brokerage services completely free of charge if they indicate at registration that they are “refugees or asylum recipients in Australia” “Jobs-for-Refugees” is a cooperation of several non-for-profit organisations and the German Internet marketplace, which provides the refugee job matching.

Since 2004, Freelance-Market has been linking freelancers with potential employers. It currently lists 400 Australian freelancers in 40 categories, eg. accountants, engineers, translators and project managers. With three clicks companies can choose the most suitable freelancer and be introduced to them free of charge.

“Although we normally focus on Australian contractors, refugees and asylum recipients are also welcome at our Internet marketplace” says Dr. Rainer Kurz. “Migrants are very popular among Australian companies as friendly, hard-working freelancers.”

. “ is completely free for companies wishing to employ freelancers and we do not charge refugees a fee. This means that the entire amount paid by the employing company is received by the refugee” says Dr Rainer Kurz. He hopes that many Australian companies will use the Freelance-Market refugee service.

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