Discussion paper on migrant qualifications to be released

The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) is due to release a major discussion paper aimed at overseas qualified migrants and the obstacles that they face being recognised by Australian employers.

Daniel Mulino, MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Treasury and Finance, will launch the ECCV discussion paper Qualified but not Recognised, which explores barriers faced by migrant, culturally diverse and refugee employees to employment in Victoria.

ECCV Chairperson, Mr Eddie Micallef, said finding a job was a priority for many new migrants, and that as part of making a new life in Australia, skilled migrants, refugees and international students often experienced difficulties in finding the right job.

“The development of an equitable and fair system for the recognition of overseas qualifications should be a significant and ongoing component of multicultural policy and practices.

“Obtaining the appropriate recognition of overseas qualifications and skills has become increasingly difficult for people from culturally diverse backgrounds. As a result, some skilled migrants are left with no choice but to take on jobs that are below their professional skill level.

“Whilst there is an increasing range of bridging courses in Victoria, the lack of coordination has left the accreditation system quite fragmented.” Mr Micallef said there were several levels of accreditation processes that skilled migrants needed to go through – including local professional association accreditation boards – to reach the entry point for employment, and this often resulted in increased frustration for overseas professionals with years of experience.

“Many people feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the processes required to recognise their overseas qualifications and are confused about how to up-grade them when required.

“The discussion paper Qualified but not Recognised drills down to the policy and practical aspects of those accreditation processes. It provides valuable insights into the challenges faced by skilled migrants trying to find employment in the field relevant to their professional qualifications and experience.”

Qualified but not Recognised has 13 Recommendations, which focus on affordable and accessible bridging courses, a centralised advisory service, and an appeals mechanism for migrants seeking recognition of their qualifications.

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