Woolworths utilises untapped tech talent with new refugee cadetship

Woolworths Group has partnered with Community Corporate to help refugees with in-demand technology skills create a career pathway.

Through the partnership, refugees with qualifications and experiences from their own countries will be assisted in cadetships that match their own experience, with training certification provided by ServiceNow.

Catherine Hunter, General Manager of Inclusion at Woolworths Group, said the new Refugee Digital and Technology Cadetship program makes clear the incredible reciprocal value we can create by better including our refugee community and recognising the valuable skills they bring with them to Australia. 

“We’re committed to being better together and building a workplace where team members from all backgrounds can grow their career and feel they belong. 

“Since 2018, our supermarkets business has welcomed more than 200 refugees through our Refugee Employment Program, helping them build new lives and community connections in Australia. Now we’re excited to be taking a more specialised approach in technology.”

From July, a group of eight Iraqi and Syrian refugees with technology experience will embark on 12-week paid cadetships across Woolworths Group’s three core tech hubs: Group Technology, WooliesX Technology, and WiQ data analytics teams.

A total of 30 refugees are expected to complete cadetships with Woolworths Group over the next 18 months.

“These candidates are immensely qualified. This isn’t only about social responsibility, this is a strategic program to engage underutilised tech talent in fields where demand has never been greater – and we’re grateful for their contribution to our business,” said Hunter.

Carmen Garcia, CEO of Community Corporate, said that the Australian Institute of Family Studies found that within two years of arrival, only 25 per cent of refugees are in employment.

“Now is the time to trial an alternative pathway for industry to access a skilled workforce by unleashing the untapped potential of our refugees.

“We believe there is an abundance of refugee talent out there, and Woolworths Group is leading the charge to leverage the skills, experiences and passion refugees bring to their new home country to solve our nation’s skills shortages.”

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