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According to Australian-based private educational chain Navitas Workforce Solutions, only one in two overseas-trained engineers can get work in their field. In order to address this issue they have teamed up with Engineers Australia to create a new program focusing not only on aspects of technical training but also workplace culture, communication and job-finding skills for Australian immigrant engineers. Engineers Australia is a national group of more than 85,000 members working in all disciplines of the engineering industry.

Currently, only 50 percent of overseas-born engineers working in Australia are working in their field of expertise, compared to 63 percent of Australian-born engineers, according to Engineers Australia statistics. In 2010 there were around 9,000 foreign-born engineers in Australia, of which about 2,500 are on Australian temporary visas under the General Skilled Migration Program (GSM).

"The key issue people from overseas have is understanding the Australian workplace - what they might expect in the Australian workforce and how best to fit in," said Catherine Chaffey, general manager of Navitas Workforce Solutions.

The program will be available for up to 20 engineers every couple of months. :clap2: The first course, which ran in Perth in January, had participants from China, Iraq, Pakistan, Columbia, India, the Philippines and the UK. The program is open to all qualified overseas-trained engineers with work rights in Australia including those with permanent residency.

Chaffey said Navitas would consider extending the program to engineers and other occupations elsewhere in Australia so long as there was local demand. She added that Navitas had delivered its professional year programs to over 3000 students, with over 70 percent employed in their fields within six months of completion.

If you would like to apply for an Australian visa and are a qualified engineer you can apply under Australia's GSM program. GSM is for professionals and other skilled migrants who have skills in particular occupations required in Australia and who are not sponsored by an employer. Australian Immigration uses a Skilled Occupation List (SOL) as part of their points system. In order to qualify for skilled migration to Australia, you must nominate an occupation from the SOL.

The following are occupations listed on the SOL for Engineers:

Engineering Manager
Electrical engineer
Mechanical engineer
Civil Engineer
Structural engineer and more

In order to qualify for one of these occupations, applicants must have a level of skill commensurate with a bachelor degree or higher. In some instances relevant experience and/or on-the-job training may be required in addition to the formal qualification. Registration or licensing may also be required.

Before emigrating to Australia as a skilled migrant you need to have your skills assessed by the relevant assessment authority for your occupation. For this occupation you will need to be assessed by Engineers Australia. They assess professional qualifications in engineering for the purposes of skilled migration to Australia.

Once you have your positive assessment letter from Engineers Australia, you can apply for the skilled migration visa electronically and count your assessment points in the points test in order to qualify for the visa.


Source : New Australian program to help immigrant engineers find jobs
 

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I read this article from another website.

Currently, only 50 percent of overseas-born engineers working in Australia are working in their field of expertise, compared to 63 percent of Australian-born engineers, according to Engineers Australia statistics. In 2010 there were around 9,000 foreign-born engineers in Australia, of which about 2,500 are on Australian temporary visas under the General Skilled Migration Program (GSM).

"The key issue people from overseas have is understanding the Australian workplace - what they might expect in the Australian workforce and how best to fit in," said Catherine Chaffey, general manager of Navitas Workforce Solutions.


This might be a good program for any engineer to take. However, I do have the issue with the last statement above about people from overseas will need to know about the Australian workforce. I would say that the majority of overseas engineers that have been approved for the skilled migration visas likely have about 5 or more years of work experience. If and when they move to Australia, I'm pretty sure these engineers want to work asap. Is it realistic for an engineer to spend 10 weeks or more (the article I read had the exact length of program) taking this program in addition to unpaid internship it requires? Most engineers need to start working asap due to financial issue.

There might be differences in the processes that Australians follow. But I don't think I need a program to tell me this. I don't think even in the US they have this type of program for overseas engineers. I could see it be required for medical professions because that involves life and death situations. However, most engineers have desk jobs and paperwork. Any safety training, most of the time the companies have their own training.

I think what needs to happen is for Australian companies in general be accepting of the fact that if their own country can't produce the engineers and other professions, they need to know that these overseas professions would be competent enough to do most of the jobs. I'm sure if we evaluate carefully, the job being done in one country (process and procedures) is exactly the same in another country. Just may be called a different work title,etc?

A separate program should not be required for overseas engineers. The training should already be part of a company's training for any new employee. Why only train overseas engineers. I'm sure Australian born and educated engineers would benefit from the training as well.

I'm giving this statement because anytime someone moves from one company to another being in the same state and country. There is always a "corporate culture" that new employees have to learn. The processes done in one company will likely be different compared to another.

I don't know the link to the whole article. But it commented that after taking this program for engineers. It stated that there was an increase in the number of engineers getting jobs. But it makes me wonder, is it only because these companies see in the engineer's resume that they went through this training? Then more likely to offer them a job? However,... why? The engineer still had the same work experience and education. I don't think an engineer having 10 weeks of more of this training is any better than someone who did not go through this program.
 

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