12000 Syrian refugees will be processed into Australia soon at a projected cost of $700 million. This cost covers processing the applications through to employment and education services, as well as social security payments over the next four years. However a new survey suggests that the bulk of these refugees lack the means to ever make the move away from govt dependency.
The survey of 2399 refugees from countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran has provided the following results- .
- 38 per cent reported not understanding spoken English before their arrival
- 15 per cent had never attended school.
- Only 10 per cent had a university degree, and only 6% have any trade or technical skill
- Many respondents reported high levels of psychological distress, including post-traumatic stress disorder, and 36.7% reported poor physical health as well (compared to a 14% among Australians)
As expected, 88 per cent of the refugees surveyed relied on government payments for their main source of income and only 6.8 per cent reported wages or salaries as their primary income when they were surveyed in the three or six months after arrival.
The research was commissioned by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection but responsibility for the work later shifted to the Department of Social Services.