Registrations are now open for a free eight-week program that aims to boost the skills and confidence of Sunshine Coast migrants seeking employment in the local community.
Now in its third year, the Migrant Work Ready Program is an eight-week course offering practical tips from professional experts, community organisations and business owners on how to prepare for the local job market and improve prospects in finding employment.
The program is delivered in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council, Nambour Community Centre, Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce, Solbar, TAFE Queensland, Volunteering Sunshine Coast and Services Australia.
Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said the success and continuation of the program reflected the growing need of the local population.
“The Sunshine Coast normally welcomes an average of 2700 new migrants,” Cr Law said.
“Employment is a key issue for many in our community following the impacts of closures due to the pandemic and council is doing all it can to help our region recover including the launch last month (June) of the Economic Resurgence Plan.
“Finding employment is an ongoing challenge that many migrants face and this program is designed to deliver positive outcomes because together we thrive.
“When businesses employ a diverse workforce, it benefits the business, its employees and customers, through increased productivity, creativity, a wider range of skills and improved cultural insights.
“Building strong and resilient communities is a key part of the Sunshine Coast Community Strategy.”
Guest speakers from multicultural backgrounds will also share their success stories to inspire participants.
An exciting addition to this year’s program is the Sunshine Coast Chamber Alliance Business Mentoring program which will offer mentoring during and after the completion of the program.
Sunshine Coast Multicultural Advisory Group and Maroochy Chamber of Commerce member Peppi Bueti is a co-organiser of the program and mentors participants.
“It’s particularly pleasing to see a number of graduates go on and find work locally which is really rewarding.”
Nambour Community Centre Community Development Coordinator Ana Greenfield said the program involved eight employment-ready workshops, a graduation and business networking events and pathways to training, volunteering, work experience and/or mentoring opportunities.
“Last year a number of our graduates secured work as a direct result of connections and skills they learnt through Migrant Work Ready,” Ms Greenfield said.
“This was fantastic and the ultimate outcome of our program. Others learnt valuable life skills such as speaking with confidence, networking, the value of volunteering and some of them made new friends – which is arguably the most important outcome of all.”
Philippines migrant and Marcoola resident Tomasa Tano Alinsonorin participated in the program last year. Upon completion she was offered a job with a local restaurant.
“I really liked it, it was very helpful and really focused on making connections. I found it really beneficial,” Ms Alinsonorin said.
“It was a great help for me to develop my speaking skills and confidence.
“I was a teacher in the Philippines, so this year I focused on my English proficiency test and I passed. I’m now about to receive my teacher registration and hope to land a dream job here on the Sunshine Coast.”
Ms Alinsonorin encouraged other migrants to have a go and register.
“The program is wonderful. We learnt so many things and the facilitators are so helpful. It’s really beneficial for everyone who wants to join the program, especially those who are new to Australia. I am so lucky and grateful I was eligible to participate.”
Workshops will run for eight weeks on Fridays at Solbar Maroochydore, from 11 September to 30 October for up to 30 participants.
To apply, submit an expression of interest by Sunday 9 August by visiting: www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Living-and-Community/Community-Support/Multicultural-Welcome-Hub/Employment-and-your-Rights/Migrant-work-ready-program
Image: Koki Mukai is also a graduate of the Migrant Work Ready program.