Skills Over Local Experience, Empowering Skilled Migrants

The Top Talent Placement corporate breakfast was held yesterday in Parramatta, the heart of Sydney’s multicultural melting pot. The breakfast brought together employers from the corporate sector to educate and expose them to the gold mine that are skilled migrants sitting right at their door.

Skilled migrants make up 68% of migrant entrants in Australia, and are twice as likely to have a university degree compared to an Australian born worker. Despite this, they make up only 5% of the tertiary qualified workforce, with 9% of skilled migrants who have attained a permanent visa remaining unemployed.

Potential employers sit in and get a feel for how the Top Talent Placement project can benefit their businesses 

Potential employers sit in and get a feel for how the Top Talent Placement project can benefit their businesses 

“Skilled migrants have to navigate and negotiate many challenges with regards to settlement, and one key area is in seeking and gaining employment,” said CEO of Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC), Melissa Monteiro.

Melissa explained how the CMRC is taking up a lead in combating this challenge. “The CMRC is currently implementing a contemporary resettlement service community development framework. Our framework allows migrants to participants both socially and economically in the Australian community. We aim to make sure our clients are job ready through workshops tailored to address soft and hard business skills.”

The Top Talent Placement is one such initiative, run in partnership with Smart Talent Group, a privately owned boutique consultancy offering bespoke recruitment solutions for clients.

Reynah Fernandes addresses employers during the Top Talent Placement Corporate breakfast

Reynah Fernandes addresses employers during the Top Talent Placement Corporate breakfast

Its founder, Reynah Fernandes, a daughter to skilled migrants herself, said “we’ve been a partner for the last 5 months running employment ready workshops. We understand that educating the new migrant market on how to get ready for the Australian workplace is important. But it didn’t make sense just leaving it there. So forming a partnership where we educate the employers about how they can potentially win by recruiting skilled migrants is a project we’re working along the CMRC with.”

Top Talent Placement program aims to connect a pool of highly qualified and experienced skilled migrants with Australian employers, by educating employers and then giving them a 4 week partially funded period with the new worker, allowing them to put the worker through their paces and see if they are the right fit. The project has the added benefit of providing participants with local experience as well.

Some employers who have already seen benefit, like Rachelle D’Souza from IQPC have said “the partnership has allowed us to really bring on board a culturally diverse team, where we can make informed and correct decision when we choose skills over local experience.”

Sandeep Joshi, Managing Director of Measurable Impact networks during the event to see the pool of skilled migrant talent available 

Sandeep Joshi, Managing Director of Measurable Impact networks during the event to see the pool of skilled migrant talent available 

Neidra Motha, who secured a role as Project Manager at Standards Australia thanks to the placement model, said “Because of smart talent group's network of contacts, employers who they were putting me in touch with were able to see that I have the skills, the capability, as well as the required experience and qualifications to do the role.”

The project also has the backing of local Labor MP Julie Owens, who spoke on the importance of taking advantage of the capabilities of skilled migrants. “It’s in everyone’s interest if people who live locally and have the skills get to work locally. They don’t travel as much, they stay longer, the staff turnover is less, and you can get skilled people who are sitting down the road waiting for you to give them a job. There’s no risk, give it a go.”