A new specialist program to help increase work opportunities for migrant women has been launched in Greater Western Sydney.
Migrant women are significantly underrepresented in the workforce, the low rate attributed to a range of barriers including lower proficiency in English, a lack of local work experience and local networks, little recognition of existing skills/qualifications and limited opportunities to gain new skills.
The Supporting Migrant Women Into Employment (SMWE) program was developed by Mas National (part of IntoWork Australia) in collaboration with four local Migrant Resource Centres, and will provide tailored, ongoing support to each of the participants to help them move towards employment.
Mas National State Manager Kylie van Luyn said the program fills an identified need in the community “The barriers to employment for migrant women are well documented, however there has been a lack of specialist career guidance and support to help break those barriers down. This program fills that gap.”
The eight week program will be a mix of one on one sessions, group workshops, mentoring and six months of ongoing post program support.
“The team will work with participants to help them map out their individual path, because it will be different for everyone. The one on one session will help identify their specific needs, interests, support required and help them develop a career plan to move them in the direction they want to go,” said Ms van Luyn
Group sessions will cover things like the local labour market, non-traditional career options, balancing work and life commitments, workplace laws and rights, and employment pathways.
Another element of the program is professional development for MRC Case Workers to upskill them to deliver effective career coaching, advice and pre-employment support to all clients.
Michael Szafraniec, CEO of Metro Assist said he believes the program will make a real difference. “We will work closely with the team at Mas National to make this access to crucial career advice and pre-employment supports available to our migrant women clients. We also welcome the opportunity to build the capacity of our staff. It will add great value to our team, their work, client outcomes and experience.”
Supporting Migrant Women Into Employment will be delivered by qualified Career Development specialists from Mas National and a program facilitator, who will be supported by local sector expert, Kylie van Luyn who has extensive experience and networks in migrant employment, as well as an advisory committee of local stakeholders.
There will be intakes into the program every 8 weeks, with workshops and career coaching sessions are delivered online, onsite at Mas National Parramatta, and onsite with community partners.