The $20 million ‘Jobs for Canberrans’ fund will provide employment opportunities with the ACT Public Service from now until June 2021.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the initiative was a potential lifeline to international students studying in the capital.
“Many international students, just like their Australian friends, have seen their part time jobs disappear overnight through no fault of their own. They continue to live and study here, despite losing their income and not being eligible for the Government’s JobKeeper support package,” Ms Jackson said.
“Universities Australia welcomes the ‘Jobs for Canberrans’ plan and the decision to give highest priority to those who are ineligible for existing Federal Government support.”
International students can work up to 40 hours per fortnight to supplement their living and studying costs.
Ms Jackson said UA was continuing discussions with Federal and state governments about providing hardship support to international students who have chosen to study in Australia.
“The ACT Government will benefit from having some very talented, industrious and appreciative international students working for them. And international students have the chance to earn some much-needed income.”
Ms Jackson said every university was already offering some sort of support while many have established hardship funds for both Australian and international students. The support includes:
- Cash grants to cover immediate essential living costs including accommodation, food and travel;
- Free meals through on-campus accommodation providers and food vouchers; and
- Free or low-cost IT equipment and data packages to allow students to continue studying online.
Those based in the ACT and seeking short term/casual employment are encouraged to check their eligibility and register their interest via the Casual Jobs Register.