La-Trobe University offering six-week program to assist migrant Engineers

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engineering, Preparation for Professional Employment, skilled migrants, skills crisis,

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The six-week Preparation for Professional Employment (P4PE) Pilot Program will assist overseas-trained engineers in finding work while filling the critical skills gap in regional Victoria.

Participants will upskill in several key areas to improve their employment prospects, including Australian workplace culture and recruitment practices, quality assurance and compliance, and presentation and networking skills.

Professor of Practice (Engineering) at La Trobe University, Chris Stoltz, said having more overseas-qualified engineers working in Australia would greatly ease the pressure on the industry.

“The latest figures from Engineers Australia show that the demand each year for engineering graduates in Australia is about 16,000 – but universities are only producing about 9,000 each year*,” says Professor of Practice (Engineering) at La Trobe University Chris Stoltz.

“Yet 47 per cent of migrants actively seeking a job as an engineer are currently underemployed,* often working in less skilled industries to get by – which is exactly what this program aims to address,” says Professor of Practice (Engineering) at La Trobe University Chris Stoltz.

La Trobe Pro Vice-Chancellor Industry Engagement, Dr Megan Fisher, said La Trobe is well positioned to support overseas qualified engineers to find work in Australia.

“The University has strong connections into industry, including in regional areas like Shepparton, and acutely understands the workforce shortages being experienced by employers,” says Dr Megan Fisher.

“This program will equip overseas-trained engineers with the skills they need, and a new network of potential employers, making it much easier for them to secure and retain a job long-term.”

Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Shane Sali said Council understands how challenging it can be for regional employers to find engineers, which is why this program is so important.

“By supporting overseas trained professionals Greater Shepparton is strengthening and diversifying the local workforce, and creating new opportunities for culturally diverse communities to thrive.”

Committee for Greater Shepparton CEO Linda Nieuwenhuizen said that with such a tight jobs market, it was exciting to see the opportunities the program would open up.

“This program will engage talented people already in our community who are interested in working in Greater Shepparton,” says Committee for Greater Shepparton CEO Linda Nieuwenhuizen.

“We also hope the program will provide a template that can be used to secure other professionals to fill workforce gaps in the region.”

The project is a partnership between La Trobe University, Greater Shepparton City Council, the Committee for Greater Shepparton and the Goulburn Valley Infrastructure Network.

Source: © La Trobe University 2022

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