Training and professional development are important ways for new overseas workers to familiarise themselves with the Australian workplace and to develop specific on-the-job knowledge and skills. It’s also a useful way for new workers to develop their professional networks.
Training and professional development doesn’t just benefit employees. Support for professional development is an investment in a quality workforce and will help employers to retain high-calibre workers for the longer term.
Here are some useful ways for employers to support their overseas employees through ongoing professional development activities:
Allocate time during work hours for a new employee to pursue training or professional development activities. This could be taken as study leave when needed and/or set aside as a regular timeslot in their weekly schedule.
Employers can try to assign a professional mentor for their employee, even if that mentor is external to the workplace and only available for telephone support.
A professional mentor can provide a new employee with ongoing advice or guidance and access to professional development and networking opportunities.
The employer's relevant professional or trade association may be able to find a suitable mentor.
A qualifications assessment can provide a new employee with information about their overseas qualifications to help them achieve personal and career goals.
If they haven’t yet undertaken a qualifications assessment as part of their visa application, this is a useful way for skilled migrants to identify bridging courses or other training that’s needed for their qualification to be recognised in Australia.
The Victorian Overseas Qualifications Unit (OQU) provides an Assessment Advice statement confirming the comparable level in Australia for the overseas award(s) and can also provide datasets about international education systems and qualifications for employers.
Telephone: 1800 042 745
Trade and professional associations are a good place to start if employers are looking for bridging courses or professional development opportunities for employees. Professional and trade associations for each occupation are listed on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.
Employers can also find out more about apprenticeships, including training and incentives, and other ways education and training can help develop your workforce by visiting the Department of Education and Training website.
Many newly arrived migrants have excellent English language skills but may still be interested in further training to improve their skills and gain confidence.
Many educational institutions in Victoria offer English language training for all levels. Employers can find a local English language training provider on the Victorian Skills Gateway website.
The employer's performance management processes and activities will provide structured opportunities to discuss their new employee’s progress in the workplace and plans for on-going training and professional development.
This is also a good opportunity to discuss plans for longer-term employment with the new employee and, where relevant, visa options and requirements.