For many skilled migrants, finding work in their industry or field has been an uphill task.
A recent report, Australia’s Skilled Migration Program: Scarce Skills Not Required by Bob Birrell states that many occupations like accounting and engineering on the Skilled Occupations Lists are in oversupply and therefore most recently arrived skilled migrants to Australia have not found professional jobs.
Other career experts have attributed this to a lack of knowledge of the job market and lacking cultural competence to fit into the work culture.
But now a new program - 'Onboarding and Mentoring' designed by Ignite Potential, a not for profit organisation in Darwin, Northern Territory, aimed at specifically helping skilled migrants, is set to change this.
“People struggle to find work. And then in desperateness, give up hope to find work in their field based on their qualifications and end up doing odd jobs,” says Sulal Mathai, one of the founders of Ignite Potential.
“We saw a gap in the support services provided to newly-arrived skilled visa holders and came up with this new program where we induct them into the Australian way of life, help them find work and provide cultural competence training to them,” he adds.
The new program is provided in the form of workshops, training and mentorship and is open to everyone.
“Skilled migrants in Darwin who have arrived in 2019 will be able to avail this program free of cost, made possible by Federal Government’s Fostering Integration Grant of $50,000,” Mr Mathai says.
"Some aspects of the program can be availed by international students too."
The program was launched on Friday in Darwin by Mr Luke Gosling OAM, Federal member of Solomon.
“We are inviting ten new migrants to join us this end of April to be a part of this new program. There will be a one-day induction, cultural competence program by SBS and we will connect these newly-arrived skilled migrants with a mentor from their field for a three-month mentorship program,” he adds.
The program will be delivered thrice spread across the year and the organisers hope to replicate this pilot project across other cities in Australia to help other skilled migrants.
“We will be evaluating the success of this program. Based on the outcome, we hope to take this program to other major cities like Melbourne and Sydney. We think skilled migrants really need this support,” Mr Mathai says.