Twenty-six people from a range of multicultural backgrounds graduated with new found skills and formed new connections with potential employers at the Migrant Work Ready end of program celebration today (October 12).
The eight week program was an initiative of Nambour Community Centre and delivered in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council, Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce, SolBar and Stones Throw Group.
Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said an outcome from council’s 2017-2020 Multicultural Action Plan was for an advisory group to provide expert advice and assistance to deliver the plan’s priority areas and actions.
“Council was a proud partner of the Migrant Work Ready program through the inaugural Sunshine Coast Multicultural Advisory Group,” Cr McKay said.
“The Migrant Work Ready program was a great success and definitely achieved its aim to improve the skills of people from multicultural backgrounds who were looking for a job and wanting to build their confidence.
"Participants received practical support from leading professional experts, business owners and migrants who shared their own success stories.
“They then had the opportunity to network with local businesses and put their skills into practice.
“Feedback from participants was extremely positive and I look forward to hearing the success stories as they secure employment.”
Sunshine Coast Multicultural Advisory Group member Peppi Bueti said migrants had contributed to the Sunshine Coast socially, economically and culturally to make it the vibrant place it is today.
“Many of these migrants have great skills and experience but they may lack business contacts and an understanding of the local work environment and that is where the Migrant Work Ready program stepped in,” Mr Bueti said.
“Through the program, mentors and guest speakers shared their real-life stories and analytical data about the local job market and really made a difference to their prospects in finding future employment.
“At the completion of the workshop series participants are given the prospect of a placement or further mentor opportunities with local businesses identified by the Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce.”
One Migrant Work Ready program participant Jessie Balea from South Africa said she was very excited on the first day of the workshop as she wanted to connect, learn and develop networks with experienced like-minded people in the current workforce.
“As a future potential business person, I wanted to gain information about what drives businesses on the Sunshine Coast and why some people are successful while others may fail," Ms Balea said.
"A lot of migrant women have an extensive professional and educational background in their home countries, but because of a language barrier they don't have the confidence and practical skills to find relevant employment in Australia.”