Talent Beyond Boundaries

A new solution for refugees: based on skills, backed by business and enabled by technology.

Grant Type
Catalyst
Focus
Economic Empowerment
Date
2024
Partner

Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB) offers an innovative approach to skilled refugee migration. Its programs plug skills gaps in Australian industries, connecting employers to skilled refugees. Employers gain valuable talent and displaced people get the chance to rebuild their careers and lives in Australia.

Bennelong Foundation provided secure long-term funding for TBB when it was in an early stage.

Jemma Bailey reflects, "Bennelong Foundation came in on the ground floor and took a calculated risk. They were our second major funder...they backed the program when we were just forming as an organisation.

“Having Bennelong commit to a five-year grant was fundamental to building the organisation that we are today. It was a game changer for us.”

One of the first refugees to secure work under a TBB Pilot in 2021 was Sarya Alsayed, a software engineer who fled Syria in 2012. Based in the Jordanian capital, Amman, with her husband and three children, she didn’t have full rights to work there. With no alternative, she had to look for work in the grey market, but this came with risks. If the authorities found out, they could send the whole family back to Syria.

"We were living with fear, always. It's terrible because you need to support your family. We need to face the situation, but you feel life is impossible."

When Sarya read about TBB in a Facebook post, she thought it sounded too good to be true. Despite that, she went ahead and completed the application process. Sarya went through a competitive selection process that included a coding challenge.

"We were blown away by the quality of the candidates," said Jonathan Day, the founder and managing director of Aligent Consulting. The company found two employees via TBB.

The job offer for Sarya was life-changing: "This job changed my life and the life of my family. It is difficult to express how much it has made a difference."

When she arrived at the airport in Adelaide in 2022, Sarya was welcomed by several colleagues. She also reunited with her brother, who had moved to Australia earlier.

The placement of people, like Sarya, helps the Australian economy and the tech sector, which is struggling with skill shortages. Today Sarya volunteers with TBB, as a mentor to women who are transitioning to life and work in Australia.

“We call our approach a triple win. It's a win for employers who are facing acute skill shortages. It's clearly a win for the refugees who can rebuild their careers, find safety and bring their family to Australia, and it's a win for the Australian economy. We all benefit from the diversity and the growth that comes with migration,” says Jemma.

The Pilot is now running until June 2025 with 500 places for primary applicants, plus family members. TBB lists skilled refugees in a database called the Talent Catalog. It’s like LinkedIn for refugees and now has over 100,000 profiles who can be placed in several countries where TBB operates.

By the end of 2024, at least 150 skilled refugees and their families will arrive in Australia under TBB’s program. Each approved migration benefits the individual and their family, as well as the economy and local communities.

TBB ANZ Co-director Jemma Bailey explains, “With Talent Beyond Boundaries, we’re able to support people to move in a way that means refugees become known not only for their vulnerability but also for their skills. It shifts the narrative around who is a refugee, and how they can contribute.”

Watch this video of Sarya being reunited with her brother Samer on arrival in Australia.

Impactful results

The Benefit

Talent Beyond Boundaries has enabled skilled refugees participate in safe employment opportunities.

Outcome

Skilled refugees have better access job opportunities.

Outcome

There is greater willingness among members Australian employers to work with others in order to prosper.

Bennelong Foundation came in on the ground floor and took a calculated risk. They were our second major funder...they backed the program when we were just forming as an organisation

Jemma Bailey

ANZ Co-director, Talent Beyond Boundaries

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