Queensland ECEC services could benefit from migrant skills
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services could be amongst the many types of businesses and services to benefit from a $250 million boost to the Queensland economy over the next ten years, if the skills and experience of migrants and refugees was recognised, a report by Deloitte Access Economics has today revealed.
Stirling Hinchliffe, Queensland multicultural affairs minister, said that the Seizing the Opportunity: Making the Most of the Skills and Experience of Migrants and Refugees report was a call to action to the community, calling Queensland the land of opportunity.
“Queensland is the land of opportunity, and our opportunity is to realise the full potential of migrants and refugees by recognising their skills and educational qualifications,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
The Deloitte report showed that almost 50 per cent of all skilled migrants are not using their skills, experience, or qualifications that they gained before arriving in Australia. If each skilled migrant were to use the skills and experience gained before arriving in Australia, $250 million would be added to the Queensland economy over the next ten years, according to Mr Hinchliffe.
Queensland Minister for Training and Skills Development, Shannon Fentiman said that the Australian value of having a ‘fair go’ starts with getting a job and being part of the economy, and that new ways of working together with communities should be explored, to offer more productive work experience to migrants and refugees in Queensland.
Latest information available from the Queensland Department of Jobs and Small Business indicates that workers with a Diploma of Children’s Services are in high demand for rural Queensland. Childcare centre managers are no longer in short supply for Queensland, but remain on the medium and long term strategic skills list for visa applications.
Mr Hinchliffe highlighted the importance of gaining employment in Australia in order to build a sense of belonging, saying that having employment where your experience and knowledge is valued, and your contribution appreciated, is one of the first opportunities to feel a part of the community.
Natasha Doherty, report author and Deloitte Access Economics Partner, said the lack of Australian recognition of overseas-obtained, post-school qualifications, was one of the main barriers to migrants and refugees being able to secure a skilled job. Currently, those seeking to have overseas ECEC qualifications recognised must pass through a system of assessment conducted by ACECQA.
“During multi-modal data collection and analysis of migrant and refugees work experience, 27 per cent of those surveyed said they could not find a job suited to their qualifications,” she said.
“A further 25 per cent did not have their qualifications recognised in Australia, and another 14 per cent said their work experience was not recognised.”
Ms Doherty said the report consultation process revealed that the process for having international qualifications recognised in Australia was deemed too complex and too expensive by migrants and those seeking refuge in Australia.