It’s Harmony Week (15 -21 March 2020) and we would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone about the struggles and challenges Skilled Migrant Engineers face when trying to find a job in their profession after moving to Australia.
Although Australia is in the middle of a $100 billion infrastructure boom, “overseas-born engineers currently experience more than double the rate of unemployment of domestic engineers, and only 55% stay working in engineering after arriving in Australia.” (source: Professional Engineers Australia).
Stories of Migrant Engineers driving Uber in Australia are all too common and this brain-waste is costing our economy $6 billion (latest research by Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre).
Skilled migrants from non-English speaking countries are affected the most, struggling with cultural barriers, lack of networks and rejection due to lack of local experience.
In a country where almost half the population was born overseas or has one parent born overseas, it is crucial we acknowledge the challenges and successes of skilled migrants who move to Australia.
At ConsultANZ we believe that not enough is being done and said to help Skilled Migrants reach their potential in Australia.
ConsultANZ has a strong diversity and inclusion strategy. Our internal office staff represents people of different races, ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, and sexual orientations. Our office gender representation is 44% female and 56% male, and ethnicities represented are Australia, Fiji, Poland, South Africa, India and the UK.
As a company, we recognise that we live in a culturally diverse country and we address it openly.
“Cultural Awareness” is one of ConsultANZ’s six core company values and means we believe that talent comes from everyone and everywhere and a multicultural and diverse workforce is what’s required in today’s world to be successful.
How we support Skilled Migrants
At ConsultANZ we support skilled migrants and campaign for inclusion and recognition of global talent in the following ways:
Over the last 12 months, 29% of Candidates we placed in perm and contract roles were migrants.
Over the last eight years, we have placed Engineers from various cultural backgrounds: Poland, India, South Africa, Philippines, New Zealand, Malaysia, Egypt, Pakistan, Canada, Chile, Sri Lanka, Italy, the UK to name a few.
Advice and information on steps migrants can undertake to find work
Over the last two year, we have been raising awareness of the problems skilled migrants face when relocating to Australia
Our blog post “How to overcome lack of local experience” is one of our top-performing blogs.
It has extensive information about organizations that help skilled migrants as well as steps to improve the chances of getting a job such as networking, English courses, additional qualifications, memberships, etc.
We regularly publish interviews with Skilled Migrants so others can benefit from their advice and experience.
Here are some interviews we have conducted in the past:
In early 2019, our Recruiter Nico-Rikus Viljoen was a Speaker at the 3rd Addition of the APC Minicon at the Australian Pacific College and English Unlimited.
A large part of the audience were overseas qualified Engineers hoping to enter the Australian job market. Nico spoke extensively about market conditions, qualifications recognition, expectations of employers, common obstacles skilled migrants face and correct preparation of an Australian CV.
Each year, ConsultANZ Recruitment chooses a non-for-profit organization to support as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility program.
In 2019, we decided to support SkillMe which is a part of a not-for-profit government program Metro Assist. The SkillME project is supported by the NSW Government and helps migrants with skills and qualifications to find suitable employment in New South Wales.
Our donation in December 2019 was part of our ongoing commitment to support skilled migrants struggling to secure work in their profession due to lack of connections and local experience.
The money will be used to run workshops so that skilled migrant jobseekers gain a better understanding of the Australian market, learn how to prepare an Australian CV and, most importantly, get much-needed support from knowledgeable staff who understand their difficult situation.
Additionally, we have provided free of charge one-hour consultation to Connections Australia regarding their marketing approach as well as free of charge presentation to attendees of the APC Minicon at the Australian Pacific College and English Unlimited.
Promotion of organizations which help Skilled Migrants
With over 100,000 social media followers across our LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook channels, we know that we can do a lot of good by helping organizations for skilled migrants gain some visibility.
Run by Rinku Razdan the Connections app helps match migrants’ skills and experience with job opportunities. This is a not-for-profit organization.
In September 2019 we took part in Connections’ #isupportmigation campaign which was seeking to raise awareness of the challenges that new Australians face daily from cultural integration to employment.
In October 2019, our Marketing Manager Anna Laver provided a free marketing session over the phone to Lindy Ung from Connections Australia. During this session, Anna shared advice on ways to promote Connections on social media and suggested website improvements.
Latin Engineers Australia
This not-for-profit organization has over 8,000 members and helps Engineering Professionals form Latin countries through mentoring, networking and information sharing. We conducted a Q&A with the founder Eduardo Devia and shared it across our social media and on our website.
SkillME is an initiative for migrants to have their overseas skills and qualifications recognised in Australia. The project engages employers and industry associations to promote the available skills.
What you can do
If you are an Employer:
Understand that Skilled Migrants are:
- eager to find work in their profession and will go to great lengths to secure a job;
- have gone through an expensive, long and demanding process of obtaining a skilled visa (this includes getting their qualifications and experience recognized, English-language testing and health checks);
- are ready to take a step back in their career just to get their foot in the door;
- are ready to undertake additional training, even at own expense;
- are open to new challenges and can work outside their comfort zone;
If you are a Skilled Migrant who has managed to find a job in your profession:
- Share your experience with other skilled migrants (you can attend networking groups, publish posts on social media such as LinkedIn or even set up your own support group);
This Harmony Week, let’s make sure that everyone feels like they belong.
ConsultANZ Recruitment – We consult our Clients on their hiring needs and our Candidates on their career prospects.
New Zealand announces full border reopening by July 2022 and the introduction of the Green List to attract and hire high-skilled migrants.
Work & Grow – Petrus Rautenbach, a Senior Project Engineer at John Holland in Sydney answers questions about his move from South Africa to Australia.