Twenty-three migrants who participated in Sunshine Coast Council’s award-winning Migrant Work Ready program are ready to put their newfound job-seeking skills to work after graduating from the program at a special event at TAFE Queensland’s Mooloolaba campus recently.
The eight-week program, now in its fourth year, has helped 98 people from a multicultural background improve their prospects to find a job on the Sunshine Coast through employment-ready workshops, mentoring and networking opportunities.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson congratulated all participants for their perseverance and hard work.
“The Migrant Work Ready program is arguably one of the most important programs that our council delivers, given the opportunities it affords to promote inclusion, diversity and enable new members of our community to contribute to the economic and social fabric of our Sunshine Coast,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“We saw another 23 people graduate from this program with the confidence and skills to make a real difference and add value to the local job market and our skilled and culturally diverse workforce.
“Graduating from the Migrant Work Ready program is a real testament to each and every one of the participants, who can give so much back to our Sunshine Coast community.”
Cécile Cartier, 48, migrated from France to the Sunshine Coast 17 months ago. The biostatistician and epidemiologist said the program helped her gain confidence to look for a job locally.
“It’s a cross-sectional program that covers all aspects of finding a job as a new migrant in Australia,” Ms Cartier said.
“The program has given me better knowledge about the Sunshine Coast and its future. I also learnt about the importance of volunteering to be part of the community.
“I have a PhD in public health, and I try to make sure the world is safer from diseases and viruses, so hopefully I’ll find a position within a hospital or university.”
Sunshine Coast Multicultural Advisory Group member Peppi Bueti played an integral role in the program by connecting migrants with the Sunshine Coast business community.
“My biggest message to the migrants is to become part of the community and get involved,” Mr Bueti said.
“Learning the language is also really important. It helps break down the barriers and also helps them find work and become more employable.
“My other message is to always maintain your culture, it’s important migrants embrace their new life here in Australia but still continue to enjoy the language and traditions of their homeland.”
Kilcoy Global Foods’ headquarters are located on the Sunshine Coast and employ more than 1600 people from 53 nationalities.
Strategic HR Consultant Cheryl Keegan said the organisation had benefited greatly from employing a culturally diverse workforce.
“We’ve been able to reach our global sales portfolio of customers, so it’s really given us access to those customers in a way we didn’t have before,” Ms Keegan said.
“It’s also opened our eyes to different things that might be available to target in terms of products and sales.
“Having a culturally diverse workforce has definitely been key to our success in terms of doubling our workforce in the last few years.”
The Migrant Work Ready program is just one element of council’s commitments to advance the objectives of the Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041.
Council proudly delivers the program in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council, Nambour Community Centre, Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce, TAFE Queensland, Volunteering Sunshine Coast and Sunshine Coast Chamber Alliance Business Mentor Program.
For additional resources, migrants are welcome to visit the Multicultural Hub on council’s website, a one-stop shop to find support and services, plus listen to the stories from other migrants living on the Sunshine Coast.