More refugees finding jobs in Australia

More refugees than ever are finding jobs, but many have skills that are going to waste. (AAP)

A new report has found an increase in refugees finding jobs in Australia but many have skills that are going to waste.

A snapshot of refugees resettling in Australia shows almost a quarter have found employment after two-and-a-half years but many have skills that are going to waste.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies has tracked 2400 refugees across the country, excluding the ACT, in an ongoing study.

A new report released on Thursday found 23 per cent had now found work, up from six per cent in the first six months.

It was easier for men to get a job compared to women, with 36 per cent of men employed compared to eight per cent of female refugees.

Many refugees have experienced trauma, and have spent time in camps and detention centres with interrupted education.

Institute director Anne Hollonds said those with higher levels of education and English skills fared better.

However, most were working in relatively unskilled occupations like labouring despite having been in more skilled work in their home countries, she said.

"Australia.. had forced them to skid down the employment ladder into low-skill jobs," researcher John De Maio said, adding better-targeted programs were needed.

Refugees' English language skills were also on the increase, with 37 per cent who did not understand the language upon arrival dropping to 11 per cent within the study period.

Source AAP

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