Everyone should have the opportunity to use their skills and qualifications to reach their full potential. But for some of us, like people new to Australia, it’s not that easy. One in four permanent skilled migrants work in jobs beneath their skill level. They deserve a chance to use their full set of skills and experience to build fulfilling lives.

Refugees and migrants have tremendous unrealised potential

$1.25 billion in lost wages

over five years from the underutilisation of skilled migrants

1 in 4

permanent skilled migrants work beneath their skill level

$1 billion

generated a year within 10 years by supporting refugees in Australia to launch new businesses

80%+ migrants are of working age

compared with 65% of the broader population

But refugees and migrants face barriers to finding meaningful employment

Recognition roadblocks

Only 33% of permanent arrivals have their postschool qualifications recognised in Australia

Right to Work

57% of people seeking asylum in Australia are not allowed to work


Applicants from ethnic backgrounds are 57% less likely to be considered for leadership roles in Australia, despite identical resumes


Almost two thirds of workers on temporary visas are paid less than the minimum standard

About The Campaign

The Billion Dollar Benefit campaign is a movement of individuals and organisations committed to reducing employment barriers so skilled refugees and migrants can work in their fields of expertise and contribute billions of dollars to the Australian economy.

We are a wide-ranging advocacy coalition – spanning employers, unions, peak bodies, research institutions and NGOs – united in our mission to support skilled refugees and migrants to achieve their full economic potential.

5 by 2025

We consulted 50 experts across five sectors on the most impactful solutions to reduce the employment barriers facing skilled refugees and migrants. We agreed on five priority solutions to implement by 2025:

  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 “tripartite” partnerships between the public, private and NGO sectors.
  5. Reform English language requirements so they are fit-for-purpose.

Take Action

Join the movement to support skilled refugees and migrants in Australia. Everyone deserves the opportunity to fulfil their life's potential and contribute to the economy.

Together we can realise the Billion Dollar Benefit. Sign up today.


Check out the latest news on the campaign

Get in touch

Got questions? We’re glad you asked. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for common queries.

Interested in a media story? Please contact the media team on press@ssi.org.au or call SSI’s Head of Executive Communications and Media, Hannah Gartell, on 0423 965 956.

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