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BlogMigrants in Tasmania are working on their skills to diversify the state’s building and construction industry

September 22, 2020by Vision Consultants
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Building and Construction industry & Migrants in Tasmania

Since a very young age, Tidiene Sacko has always dreamt of pursuing his career in the building and construction sector.
He said, “I always dreamed of being in a field where I could help develop my community, my country as a whole.”

Aged 37 years old, Sacko originally belonged to Guinea in West Africa but it has not been more than eight months that he is residing in Tasmania along with his wife and a son. Tidiene is currently working towards achieving his goal of working in the construction sector as he is just about to complete a beginner’s course in building and construction with TasTAFE.

The Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania has been collaborating with TasTAFE and the state government. Their aim is to provide employment opportunities to migrants into the building and construction industry in Tasmania.

So far 10 migrants have finished the free of cost beginner’s course which is taught by Skills Tasmania.

MRC’s Director of Strategy and Development, Catherine Doran said, “We understand that there was a skill and labor shortage in the building and construction industry, so it seemed like a very natural fit that we would work with our clients, so they are able to take advantage of working (in that industry).”

“So hopefully when people finish this program they’ll be ready to go and be really useful to be employed in the building and construction industry.”

Having studied Civil Engineering in her Bachelors from Brazil, Leila Ipar Gobus, aged 40, has had her degree acknowledged by Engineers Australia. However, she is using TasTAFE to her benefit through which she is both learning and understanding the local regulations and is also maximizing her chances to find an appropriate job.

She said, “I think this industry is always a good opportunity to grow the country.”

“We all need a house to live, and this helps the economy and the growth of the country, it’s something where you can see the results.”

“Australia is a beautiful country. I hope to settle here and my family here. Tasmania is attracting skilled immigrants; one of the areas (they’re looking for workers in) is construction so I think it’s a good place.”

The Government of Tasmania sketched an infrastructure program of $3.7 billion in May in order to recover the state from coronavirus.

Mathew Pollock, the Executive Director of Master Builders in Tasmania, said that the primary objective from the state government will result in a number of employment opportunities for not only the people of Tasmania but also for the skilled migrants.

“As an industry what’s important for us is that we are doing everything we can, and we are tapping all sources of skilled labor to ensure that we have the boots on the ground to deliver that pipeline.”

“The industry is a firm supporter of diversity in the workplace and it’s very encouraging to see this support for migrants and new migrant workers to take advantage of that, and build their own careers in construction.”

The numbers that were published yesterday in the Australian Bureau of Statistics depict the increase in the approval of building in Tasmania by 50% between June and July of 2020 and was 28.4% more than the previous year.

On finishing the course, the migrant center will help each and every student to find appropriate work that suits them best.

“So what we hope to do is link the students up to what makes sense for them, make contact with future employers, and future training pathways,” said Ms Doran.

“The building and construction industry is obviously a really key part of the way out of the post COVID recovery.

“What we have with people from a migrant background is really untapped potential, a lot of the people that you see here are highly motivated, (some of them) come with previous skills and experiences in the industry.”

The 32 year old Huang Qinglong who originally belongs to China has had the pleasure of experiencing great things through the TasTAFE course.

“My family has a business in Sydney and Melbourne doing emergency lights,” he said.

“(When I finish this course) I would like to become an electrician, I want to build a business and do emergency lighting (as well)”

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