Successful migration to Australia as a skilled engineer consists of two major steps: obtaining the required visa and finding a job on arrival.
Engineers Australia recently released a report ‘Barriers to employment for migrant engineers’, which noted that migrant engineers make up over 58 per cent of Australia’s engineering workforce but are significantly more likely than their Australian-born counterparts to be unemployed.
One of the opportunities identified in the report was to increase local networks for migrant engineers by developing networking and sponsorship programs to provide opportunities for migrant engineers.
Sydney Division Committee Member Elena Shulyak, a migrant engineer herself, is acting on this opportunity and launching a Sydney based migrant engineering working group.
Elena is now an engineering manager in Australia, however when she arrived she first had to take on a role as an administrative assistant despite a university degree and four years of international engineering experience with a well-known aerospace company.
“The experience of my family and my friends, fellow migrant engineers, led to the conclusion that my story is quite typical for the experienced engineers arriving in Australia,” Elena said.
“Like me, many people arriving in Australia are not part of the professional network and have no one to ask for advice on how to search for a job.”
The working group will focus on supporting migrant engineers at a local level. Networking events, mentoring, workshops for resume and cover writing, and practice interviews will be run through the group.
Over time the group will identify and prioritise activities that provide the best levels of support to migrant engineers and coordinate them through the wider Engineers Australia network.
“Once the group is established, we will aim to support the initiatives at national level and work closely with the individual migrants,” Elena said.
If you would like to know more about the Sydney Migrant Engineers Working Group please get in touch with Elena Shulyak through her dedicated EAXchange discussion post.