Innovative program to provide migrants with the skills and insights to gain employment

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Community Employment & Training Small Business Sunshine Coast Council

Jessie Balea

Registrations are now open for an innovative program which aims to equip Sunshine Coast migrants with the skills they need to seek employment.

In its second year, the Migrant Work Ready Program is a free nine week course which aims to improve the skills of people from multicultural backgrounds who are looking for a job and wanting to build their confidence while connecting with others who can provide practical support.

Through the program, professional experts, organisations and business owners will clarify how to prepare for the local job market and improve prospects in finding local employment.

Guest speakers from multicultural backgrounds will also share their success stories to inspire participants.

An initiative of the Nambour Community Centre, the program is delivered in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council, Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce, Solbar, TAFE Queensland Volunteering Sunshine Coast and the Department of Human Services.

Community portfolio councillor Jenny McKay said unemployment or underemployment was one of the biggest issues that migrants living on the Sunshine Coast experienced.

“The 2018 Migrant Work Ready program was a great success and I am confident this year’s program will deliver the same positive outcomes,’’ Cr McKay said.

She said the program would be run over eight weeks and included workshops, business-networking event, graduation ceremony and offering pathways to work experience, mentoring opportunities and training.

Sunshine Coast Multicultural Advisory Group member Peppi Bueti is a co-organiser of the program and mentors participants.

Mr Bueti said one of the best things about the course was that it gave participants the opportunity to form local connections.

“Many local migrants have a lot of skills and enthusiasm but they don’t know the local people. This course gives them the ability to form local connections and understand how business is done on the Sunshine Coast.

“Participants will learn basic things like putting a resume together, how to present for an interview and insights into the way things are done in Australia,” Mr Bueti said.

South African migrant Jessie Balea completed the course in 2018. Ms Balea joined the program to get a better insight of the current job market on the Sunshine Coast.

“After being inactive for more than five years in the working world I was eager to learn about what the current requirements were to secure a job other than just relying on my working experience,’’ Ms Balea said.

Ms Balea said her main aim was start to start a small business in hospitality or re-enter the workforce with her current work experience.

“Through the program, I was made aware of the importance of networking and making myself visible in showcasing my talent and passion. Starting a business requires a lot of work, hours of research and knowing the right people who have experience in this competitive industry.

“Networking, connecting with the right people, a positive attitude and perseverance is what the program highlighted for me,’’ Ms Balea said.

She said the program had given her a lot of momentum.

“I’ve joined a few networking groups which directly relate to my end goal and gained loads of information pertinent to my business idea. I am also a member of the Sista4sista community women’s groups which uplifts, empowers and supports women both in general and in business,” Ms Balea said.

The course will run weekly on Fridays starting on 13 September through to 8 November. Sessions will be held at Solbar on Ocean Street, Maroochydore between 9am and noon.

The program is open to 25 participants. To apply, submit an expression of interest by 18 August by visiting:

For more information email: or call 5441 4724.

Sunshine Coast Regional Council :
Locked Bag 72 Sunshine Coast Mail Centre Q 4560, Sunshine Coast Wide
07 5475 7272
1300 007 272
Sunshine Coast Regional Council
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