Australia, like the UK, Canada and the US, is a land of immigrants. Some consider us to be the lucky country or the Promised Land. So like bees to honey, people from all corners of the world have been flocking to Australia and now call it home. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, approximately a quarter of Australia’s population are foreign born. It is estimated that by 2050 this number will rise to approximately one-third of Australia’s population. According to the Migration Policy Institute, immigrants from the top five countries of birth – the UK, New Zealand, China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan), Italy and Vietnam –amounted to 45.1% of all foreign born residents of Australia with one in every four migrants coming from the UK alone. With this many migrants in one country and assuming that most of them have professional training, I often wonder how prosperous Australia would become if we can utilize their training in all regions of Australia. That would be the ideal, of course, but unfortunately not the case in reality. I have met many overseas qualified doctors, engineers, nurses, teachers and other professionals who are wasted in jobs in Australia that are so far removed from their original training that it must be heart-breaking for them.
Many of these people are working as taxi drivers, cleaners or working in petrol stations, restaurants, etc. One such person is a lovely Korean lady whose daughter used to attend the same kindergarten as my son. She and her family now live in Adelaide. Like me, she became a stay-at-home mother when her first child was born. After eight years at home and when her second child started primary school, she decided to return to her nursing profession. However, much to her disappointment, she could not get a job as a nurse even though she was trained and has worked as a nurse in Japan. She was told that she needed more coursework in Australia to qualify her to work as a nurse here. That news set her back a little until she found out that there was a high demand for workers in aged care and disability. With this in mind, she checked out some disability courses Adelaide and found out the following:
There are courses like the Certificate IV in Disability that trains people for a career in the disability field, so that they can work in residential group homes, day respite centres, training resource centres, client homes orother community settings. Students are required to complete a combination of practical modules and theory work, which will enable them to enter the workforce upon graduation. Through the course, they will gain knowledge in various community services, related laws and regulations and be trainedby experienced trainers to successfully communicate and work with people with disabilities. This course will take approximately six months to complete, which includes class time and supervised work placement in a disability centre, rehabilitation centre, disability community organisations, supported residential services facilities or allied organisations. Students are required to complete 10 compulsory units of study and five elective units. The flexible delivery of this course (i.e. online, face-to-face and blended) makes it accessible to everyone from stay-at-home parents to working parents to students studying other courses to those who are working and studying, and anyone who has time constraints.Eligible students can apply for Government funding or VET fee-help (a Commonwealth Government loan scheme that offers assistance to eligible students to pay for all or part of their tuition fees, which students only repay when they start earning over the loan re-payment threshold.)
My friend completed the course with flying colours and was immediately offered a position in a day respite centre. She, initially, wanted only part-time work but was encouraged to increase her hours to full-time because she was a good worker who was well likedby the staff and clients at the centre. Her past nursing qualification and experience was not wasted because she was able to use that training and experience to enhance her role at the centre. What appeared as a closed door ended up being a door of opportunity for this lady, thanks to a disability course in Adelaide.Just goes to show that we should never rule anything out as we don’t know what life may throw at us.