They say opportunities are like sunrises, if you wait too long, you miss them – and there was plenty of sunshine when 12 graduates completed Logan City Council’s refugee trainee program.
The graduates gained valuable skills and on-the-job training across a range of industries, including Conservation and Land Management, Business Administration and Road Construction Maintenance.
The cohort were part of Skilling Queenslanders for Work Migrant and Refugee Traineeship, a Council initiative aimed at boosting job prospects for the city’s refugees.
Logan City Council Acting Chief Executive Silvio Trinca, said the 18-week program provided unique opportunities and created career pathways with some graduates securing further employment opportunities at Council.
“It’s terrific to see the smiles on their faces and to know this program is changing lives in a big way,” he said.
“While the initiative provides practical training opportunities to kick-start careers across many areas, it also builds confidence among the trainees and creates a platform for friendships and networking.
“Following the successful completion of their traineeships, around half of the graduates have been provided with ongoing work in some capacity here at Council, while others are now in a good position to seek employment opportunities in their chosen fields.”
While many refugees had skills and experience from their home countries, language and cultural barriers were common when seeking employment in Australia.
For Hani Rabbat, landing a job as an admin temp in the People & Culture branch, follows extensive training and experience in human resources in his native Syria.
Mr Rabbat moved to Australia in September 2016 as a humanitarian refugee.
“Although I have credentials and experience in the Human Resources field, since moving to Australia I have been focused on developing my knowledge and work experience in different business areas related to my field of expertise,” he said.
“It wouldn’t’ve happened without the support of Logan City Council and its People and Culture branch, to help identify the best area for me to start building my Australian work experience.
“They provided all the support and knowledge I needed, and most of all I felt welcomed and appreciated for my contribution.”