The economic and subsequent societal benefits that former refugees offer a host country is poorly
understood in New Zealand. These former refugees are noted to be a most
vulnerable minority group within our society, yet they bring skills, experience, knowledge, and
capacity to this country; which without suitable employment is potentially a wasted human
resource. We report on the employment/unemployment experiences and aspirations of 111 former
refugees in New Zealand. This data was collected via nine focus groups and 23 semi-structured
interviews. Our findings identified specific refugee personal factors, employer/workplace factors,
and New Zealand context as influencing the employment and unemployment outcomes of former
refugees. These factors are discussed in detail in this report. Further, we draw conclusions and offer
recommendations on how refugee support organisations can enhance outcomes for former refugees
seeking employment.


Creator | Kaihanga
Associate Professor Huibert Peter de Vries - University of Canterbury; Associate Professor Nirosha Wellalage - University of South Australia; Dr Nadeera Ranabahu – University of Canterbury; Dr Ruth Helen Samujh - Capric Enterprises (NZ) Limited; Sandya Rajapakshe - Refugee Orientation Centre Trust
Year of Creation | Tau
Keywords | Kupu
Former Refugees, Economic Integration, Employment, Refugees, Refugee, Unemployment
Main Language | Reo Matua
Submitter's Rights | Nga Tika o te Kaituku
I represent the publisher or owner organisation of this resource
This Research has
been peer reviewed by academics at a university
Bibliographic Citation | Whakapuakanga

de Vries, H.P., Rajapakshe, S., Ranabahu, N., Samujh, R.H., & Wellalage, N.H., (2023). “We want to contribute”: Former refugees’ perspectives and aspirations on economic integration. Refugee Orientation Centre Trust, Hamilton, New Zealand.

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