Overseas-qualified engineers who are struggling to find work in Australia are set to benefit from a free online program offered by La Trobe University, with support from the City of Greater Shepparton Council and Committee for Greater Shepparton.
The six-week Preparation for Professional Employment (P4PE) Program Pilot will assist overseas-trained engineers to find work, while at the same time filling a critical skills gap in regional Victoria, the University said in a statement today.
Participants will upskill in several key areas to improve their employment prospects, including Australian workplace culture and recruitment practices, quality assurance and compliance, and presentation and networking skills.
Professor of Practice (Engineering) at La Trobe University, Chris Stoltz said having more overseas-qualified engineers working in Australia would greatly ease the pressure on industry.
“The latest figures from Engineers Australia show that the demand each year for engineering graduates in Australia is about 16,000 – but universities are only producing about 9,000 each year*,” Professor Stoltz said.
“Yet 47% of migrants actively seeking a job as an engineer are currently underemployed,* often working in less skilled industries to get by – which is exactly what this program aims to address.”
La Trobe Pro Vice-Chancellor Industry Engagement, Dr Megan Fisher said La Trobe was well positioned to support overseas qualified engineers to find work in Australia.
“The University has strong connections into industry, including in regional areas like Shepparton, and acutely understands the workforce shortages being experienced by employers,” Dr Fisher said.
“This program will equip overseas-trained engineers with the skills they need, and a new network of potential employers, making it much easier for them to secure and retain a job long-term.”
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Shane Sali said Council understood how challenging it can be for regional employers to find engineers, which is why the program was so important.
“By supporting overseas trained professionals Greater Shepparton is strengthening and diversifying the local workforce, and creating new opportunities for culturally diverse communities to thrive,” the Mayor said.
The program is open for applications until Friday 19 September. Overseas trained engineers are invited to register here.
*See Engineers Australia