SSE joins Billion Dollar Benefit coalition to support skilled migrants

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SSE joins Billion Dollar Benefit coalition to support skilled migrants

SSE joins Billion Dollar Benefit coalition to support skilled migrants
SSE joins Billion Dollar Benefit coalition to support skilled migrants

On World Refugee Day, the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE) is proud to announce its alliance with the national advocacy coalition, Billion Dollar Benefit.

Convened by Settlement Services International (SSI), which helps connect people from diverse migrant backgrounds with a range of opportunities to support their health, wellbeing, and employment opportunities in Australia, Billion Dollar Benefit addresses significant gaps in the local labour market by supporting skilled refugees and migrants to be able to work in their areas of expertise. 

Alarmingly, almost half of the permanent migrants in Australia work in jobs below their education and skill level. 

It’s estimated that in Australia alone:

  • $1.25 billion in wages is lost every five years from the underutilisation of skilled migrants
  • 1 in 4 permanent skilled migrants are working below their skill level
  • Supporting refugees in Australia to launch new businesses would contribute $1 billion per year to the local economy within 10 years
  • Over 80% of migrants to Australia are of working age (compared with 65% of the broader population)

At SSE, our mission – to create a world where every Australian is empowered with the skills, capability, and learning opportunities needed to overcome barriers to entrepreneurship, employment, and education – is fully aligned with that of Billion Dollar Benefit’s. We are driven by a belief that entrepreneurship is a powerful catalyst for change, and our programs support, uplift, and empower many of the diverse communities in Australia.

“Everyone should have the opportunity to use their skills and qualifications to reach their full potential,” agrees SSI’s Head of Strategic Relations, Dane Moores. “But for some of us, like people new to Australia, it’s not that easy. We believe that all people deserve a chance to use their full set of skills and experience to build fulfilling lives in this country.”

In consultation with 50 industry experts, Billion Dollar Benefit has developed and is backing five key solutions designed to unleash the economic potential of skilled refugees and migrants:

  1. Fix the skills and qualifications recognition system
  2. Strengthen protections for migrant workers
  3. Review the right to work for people on temporary visas
  4. Scale innovative cross-sector partnerships between the public, private and NGO sectors
  5. Reform English language requirements so they are fit-for-purpose

We are honoured to be joining the 60+ organisations now supporting the Billion Dollar Benefit and its five calls, including companies like Allianz Australia, LinkedIn, Australia Post, and IKEA Australia, peak bodies such as the Refugee Council of Australia and Diversity Council of Australia, as well as a range of other NGOs, refugee-led organisations and research institutions. 

“Our alliance with the Billion Dollar Benefit partnership aligns powerfully with SSE’s mission to empower individuals with the skills and opportunities needed for entrepreneurial success and meaningful employment," said SSE’s CEO, Dr Sarah Jones. 

"Together and collectively, we can continue to advocate for the thousands of Australians who have been historically denied the opportunities in life that so many of us have the freedom to take for granted, and make a significant impact on Australia's economic and social landscape."

Billion Dollar Benefit has produced two critical reports to date, highlighting many of the issues they hope to redress. The first is the Billion Dollar Benefit roadmap, which unpacks each of the five key solutions mentioned above. The second is an employer guide, developed in association with the Australian Computer Society and endorsed by LinkedIn, which outlines ten tips for businesses to recruit and retain tech talent from refugee and migrant backgrounds.

For more information on World Refugee Week, visit