After a four-week hospitality course, 12 refugee graduates are ready and eager to join the workforce as new Australians.

Blacktown Workers Club hosted last week’s graduation breakfast, where the 12 students referred from Settlement Services International (SSI) and supported by Clubs NSW, recently completed a certificate II in hospitality. The program was delivered through the professional training services of Barrington’s.

For Iraqi refugee, Bassam Mansoor, who has a Masters degree in Physics, pulling beers at a Sydney club is the first step towards a brighter future.

Before he fled Mosul with his wife and children, the 39-year-old worked at a university, but finding his first job in Australia, with little English and no qualifications recognised in Australia, meant he had to begin again.

He is one of 12 refugee graduates of the four-week hospitality course which aims to improve the employment prospects of new Australians.

“I check that website of Seek, and you need some experience and certificate, and now I have a certificate. I can work in more places,” Mr Mansoor said.

Professor Peter Shergold, from NSW Refugee Resettlement, says the new graduates are grateful to receive their first opportunity in Australia, despite the fact it does mean starting again at entry level.

“When refugees come here, they don’t want to live off welfare,” he said.

“They want to get on their own feet again, and that means getting their children into education, and for themselves, getting a first job.”

Through this program, Blacktown Workers Club has had the pleasure of assisting the new graduates and have offered employment to three of the 12 graduates – Bassam , Ramz and Elizabet.

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