Economic Pathways to Refugee Integration

What is the Economic Pathways to Refugee Integration?

The Economic Pathways to Refugee Integration is a program which aims to increase the rate of employment for refugees and humanitarian entrants with lower skill levels and low English language proficiency. The program will prioritise applications from employment regions identified as having a high number of refugee and humanitarian entrant job seekers, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has said.



The objectives of the Economic Pathways to Refugee Integration program are to:

  • increase the rate of economic participation for refugees and humanitarian entrants with lower skill levels and/ or low English language proficiency
  • increase the number and type of pathways to economic participation available to refugee and humanitarian entrants with low skills and/or English language proficiency
  • develop refugees and humanitarian entrants’ skills, qualifications and experience in areas of workforce shortages
  • increase refugee and humanitarian entrants’ English language skills directly related to economic participation
  • improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the pathways to economic participation available to refugees and humanitarian entrants with low skill and/or English language proficiency.

The intended outcomes of the EPRI program are:

  • higher rates of the refugee and humanitarian entrant employment and self-employment
  • reduced refugee and humanitarian entrant welfare dependency and long-term unemployment.



The Australian Government has announced a total of $21.3 million GST exclusive over 3 years for the EPRI program. For this grant opportunity, $15 million GST exclusive is available over 3 years. A total of $5 million will be available for the EPRI program in 2021–22, $5 million in 2022–23 and $5 million in 2023–24.

  • The minimum grant amount is $50,000 per annum GST exclusive.
  • The maximum grant amount is $1 million per annum GST exclusive.


Eligible Projects

To be eligible your grant activities must directly relate to the objectives of the grant opportunity. Examples of eligible activities include:

  • direct sustainable job creation for refugees and humanitarian entrants, for example, social enterprises creating employment and work experience opportunities in food production, zero waste services, recycling, or retail
  • programs concurrently helping refugees and humanitarian entrants build their English language ability and develop vocational skills, for example, a social enterprise supporting traineeships, where refugees receive training, TAFE accreditation, English language tutoring, and assistance with securing employment in an area of recognised workforce shortage
  • support for refugees and humanitarian entrants to start their own businesses, targeting the particular circumstances of refugees who do not have a credit history in Australia and have lower English language and skill levels
  • scaffold cohorts of refugees and humanitarian entrants into work with large employers, for example, brokering partnerships between the community, corporate, and public sectors to connect communities with employers and provide wrap-around support.

Projects must provide support and assistance to refugees and humanitarian entrants within Australia only.

You can only spend the grant on eligible expenditure you have incurred on eligible grant activities.

Eligible expenditure items are:

  • the provision of services and support to refugees and humanitarian entrants to assist them to participate economically in Australia, such as:
    • structured programs (that is, training, counselling and / or advocacy)
    • obtainment of qualifications recognised within Australia, such as those delivered by Registered Training Organisations
    • apps or other technology solutions
  • engagement with employers to develop job opportunities
  • purchase of equipment and infrastructure directly related to supporting refugees and humanitarian entrants into employment. A maximum of 20% of the grant amount can be used for equipment and/or infrastructure and quotes should be submitted with the grant application.
  • staff salaries and on-costs that can be directly attributed to the provision of the EPRI program – Grants to Social Enterprises grant opportunity
  • employee training for paid and unpaid staff that is relevant, appropriate and in line with the EPRI program – Grants to Social Enterprises grant opportunity, for example, case management support to participants and training to support staff with building self-efficacy while delivering economic participation support
  • costs of suppliers, consultants, specialists/experts and contracted labour undertaking eligible project activities.
  • purchase of materials required to deliver eligible project activities
  • costs of obtaining required permissions for the project
  • costs of project related planning, administration, consultation, coordination, monitoring and reporting.
  • operating and administration expenses directly related to the delivery services, such as:
    • telephones
    • rent and outgoings
    • computer / IT / website / software
    • insurance
    • utilities
    • postage
    • stationery and printing
    • accounting and auditing
    • travel/accommodation costs
    • assets that can be directly attributed to meeting agreement deliverables
  • translating and interpreting support services directly related to the grant activities.

You can only spend grant funds on eligible grant activities as defined in the grant details in your grant agreement. Not all expenditure on your grant activity may be eligible for grant funding. The decision maker makes the final decision on what is eligible expenditure. You must incur the expenditure on your grant activity between the start date and end or completion date for your grant activity for it to be eligible.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible you must have an:

  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • account with an Australian financial institution.

To be eligible you must be one of the following entity types:

  • Indigenous Corporation
  • Company
  • Cooperative
  • Incorporated Association
  • Statutory Entity
  • Partnership
  • Sole Trader

If you are applying as a Trustee on behalf of a Trust, the Trustee must have an eligible entity type as listed above. Not for profit organisations that meet all eligibility criteria are able to apply.

Applications from consortia are acceptable, as long as you have a lead applicant who is solely accountable to the Commonwealth for the delivery of grant activities and is an eligible entity as per the list above. Eligible organisations can form a consortium with ineligible organisations.

The program can only accept applications from economic participation focused social enterprises that:

  • are certified by Social Traders


  • have a defined primary social, cultural or environmental purpose consistent with a public or community benefit
  • derive a substantial portion of their income from trade
  • invest efforts and resources into their purpose such that public/community benefit outweighs private benefit.



Applications close 11 April 2022.


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