The Queensland Government is extending Multicultural Australia’s Diverse Queensland Workforce (DQW) funding to connect more employers with jobseekers from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

Di Farmer, Minister for Training and Skills Development, announced additional funding of $5.5 million towards the program, with delivery extended to Rockhampton, Townsville, and the Sunshine Coast. Multicultural Australia is one of seven providers funded as part of the program.

“I’m pleased we are continuing the Diverse Queensland Workforce program and expanding it into three additional regional centres in Queensland to support employers in providing more employment opportunities to migrants and refugees throughout the State,” Minister Farmer said.

“DQW builds on Multicultural Australia’s strong track record of delivering support and employment pathways for our newest Queenslanders.”

Multicultural Australia began delivering the program in late 2021, with hubs set up in three Brisbane communities – Woolloongabba, Inala, and Redbank Plains – and in Toowoomba.

With support tailored to each participant’s individual needs and learning styles, clients have access to employment workshops, mentoring and coaching, assistance in getting overseas qualifications recognised, communication training, language and literacy workshops, work experience and networking opportunities.

Multicultural Australia’s Program Manager of Employment Services, Carla Zafiriadis believes the one-stop-shop approach of the program is its greatest asset.

“We provide participants with referrals to a wide range of specialist supports to address potential barriers to employment as well as career coaching sessions, employability workshops and opportunities to connect with a wide range of employers. Our service model is delivered as a wrap-around client-centred approach,” Carla said.

“We are pleased that the program has provided us a platform to have conversations with employers on how to access a talented and diverse workforce. Supporting participants as well as employers throughout the process is important for the success of the program and for participants to achieve sustainable and meaningful employment.”

To date, Multicultural Australia has provided employment and training services to 120 clients, with 99 already securing work.

For Multicultural Australia CEO, Christine Castley, the additional funding will open doors for new Queenslanders to participate in the workforce.

“The Diverse Queensland Workforce Program has already demonstrated success in supporting individuals from diverse backgrounds to gain employment,” Christine said.

“Expansion of this program will help more people find meaningful jobs – supporting our mission to create welcome for all Queenslanders.”

Nataliya Borulko, originally from the Ukraine, arrived in Queensland in March this year, and joined the DQW program in May. Having already studied and gained work experience in her home country, Nataliya made use of career planning and overseas qualification sessions, received support in writing her resume and cover letter, and conducted mock interviews with her employment consultant.

After assessing her options and mapping out her career aspirations as part of the DQW program, Nataliya decided to study a Certificate in Liberal Arts at the Australian Catholic University.

She has engaged with two more Multicultural Australia career programs since, having participated in the Work & Welcome program where she completed workplace experience with Queensland Rail, and Shaping Your Future, a career mentoring program that partners clients with mentors in a wide range of Australia’s leading organisations.

After completing her placement with Queensland Rail, Nataliya was offered a permanent role.

For Nataliya, the wrap around support she received from Multicultural Australia helped her navigate the Australian job market with ease.

“Multicultural Australia helped me understand everything. Without the help I received, I wouldn’t have been able to apply for the job that I’m now doing. We need organisations like Multicultural Australia – they are doing great work,” Nataliya said.

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