The Kaleidoscope Rangoli Pilot (Rangoli) was the City of Stirling’s effort to understand the barriers faced by secondary visa holders on work/family/bridging visas towards securing employment commensurate with their skills and experience.
Rangoli investigated the challenges faced by secondary (partner/family/bridging visa holders) to economic participation through undertaking focus groups and research into the specific needs of this community.
These challenges and barriers were then addressed through the design and delivery of an appropriate job-readiness program to enable the group to participate fully in the successful Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program (KMP) in Jan-May 2020.
The project aimed to connect with newcomers who had:
- recently migrated to Western Australia (last 10 years),
- a minimum of post-secondary education equivalent to a diploma or a degree, and
- at least two years of international experience in their profession.
Phase 1: Literature Review June 2019- September 2019
In this phase, existing secondary data available on the barriers related to secondary-visa holders from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and research papers and reports from various bodies was studied.
Phase 2: Focus Group/Interviews – October 2019- December 2019
In this phase, 24 participants were interviewed from Perth Metropolitan area. Through a series of interviews and focus group data was collected identifying the systemic and personal barriers to employment.
Phase 3: Rangoli Mentoring Program – February 2020- June 2020
In Phase three, 10 mentees on secondary visa holders from the City of Stirling were selected to participate in a modified Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program.
The program was modified to include additional training modules for mentees:
- Wellness workshop.
- Understanding your work rights.
- Financial well-being.
- Dress for success workshop on “Nail that Interview” and “Makeup Workshop”.
Mentors of Rangoli mentees also received additional coaching and served to feedback suggestions for modifying the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program to meet the needs of this cohort.
Findings and recommendations
Settlement period and particularly, employment takes time. There are both institutional and personal barriers that make this process even harder for secondary visa holders.
Economic participation of secondary visa holders will lead to better integration in Australia. There is a great scope and opportunity for the three spheres of government, various organisations and newcomers to work together to develop innovative solutions to the problems identified by conducting extensive research and offering mentoring program.
Key recommendations were delivered for the individual newcomers, government, community/employment agencies and Kaleidoscope.
Secondary Visa holder newcomers
- Prepare yourself for the change you may experience.
- Actively seek information.
- Re-skilling may be required depending on certain professions.
- Understand the value of networking and start early.
- Develop workforce readiness by participating in job readiness training and mentoring programs.
- Secure volunteer opportunities in early stages of settlement.
- Enhance your communication skills.
A guide has been prepared for the dependent visa holders.
- Collect data on qualifications of secondary visa holders prior/ or on-arrival.
- Value international experience using screening/ testing system to establish credibility. Run a trial for pre/post migration skills testing system.
- Assist industry to develop short term bridging courses with profession specific skills and training.
- Consider longer term funding for a post-settlement program.
- Initiatives of local governments such as welcome packs with volunteering opportunities.
- Current English proficiency offered in AMEP is not sufficient for professional jobs. AMEP should consider expanding to delivering business English and communication.
- Explore opportunities to enable secondary visa holders to access English assessment pre-arrival as cost is prohibitive.
- Consider there may be opportunities to apply for HEX for AMEP English courses.
- Offer guidance for regulated occupations, including licensing process and referrals to regulatory bodies and/or exploring alternate careers options too.
- Greater research is required to understand re-skilling/down-skilling pattern.
- Community organisations work with non-for-profit organisations to organise workforce readiness skills.
- A place-based collaborative approach.
- Promote benefits of diverse workforce.
- Run awareness campaign.
- Undertake cultural diversity audit within the organisation.
- Design workshops to develop leadership skills of the CaLD communities.
- Amend the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program as required to service the needs of dependent visa holders in the upcoming mentoring cycles.
- Offer additional workshops on self-confidence, financial and presentation skills.
- Offer dedicated support and informal meetings with mentoring coach as these mentees will have additional needs to establish their career.
- Collect more data during the mentoring cycle to identify the additional needs.
- Collect data on dependent visa holders statewide to identify this group so that strategies can be designed to assist newcomers earlier.
- Create resources to assist dependent visa holders within the City of Stirling.
A research report is due for publication in the later half of 2020 to share these findings in more detail.
For further information please contact Krishna Karangiya, Rangoli Project Officer, T: 08 9205 8368 | M: 0457 806 153 | E: email@example.com
Rangoli Project was funded by the Department of Home Affairs under Fostering Integration Grants.