Improving employment potential for skilled migrants

Through the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program, experienced migrants are given the opportunity to secure work in their field of expertise, including employment at BHP.

The program helps migrants improve their employment potential, obtain work and builds the capacity of employers to reap the rewards of a diverse workforce.

BHP Superintendent Balraj Hansra joined BHP almost a decade ago as Graduate Geoscientist and signed up to be a mentor in the program, motivated by his appreciation of the difficulty for newcomers to find work in Australia.

“My mother came to Australia as a migrant and despite having a Master’s degree and being trained as a Registered Nurse in the UK, she found it difficult to find work here because she had no Australian experience,” Balraj said.

“After reflecting on this, and the impact it had on her and the rest of our family, I wanted to do everything I could to positively change the situation for those who have recently migrated to Australia.”

Balraj mentored Mehdi Najafi through the program, who now works as a Geotechnician at BHP’s Nickel West, Leinster Nickel Operation.

Mehdi was born and raised in Tehran, the capital city of Iran, where he studied a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and graduated with a Master of Geotechnical Engineering. Mehdi has nearly eight years’ experience as a Geotechnical Engineer in Iran on a wide range of civil, infrastructure and mining projects.

Mehdi explains the mentor program opened up the opportunity to have his qualifications recognised and to continue working in his field of expertise.

“Coming to Australia has always been a dream of mine, to create a better life and find more opportunities for work, but as a migrant we do face a lot of difficulties,” Mehdi said.

“You have to work hard to reach your dreams, and it’s not always easy, but the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program provided that path for mentorship, experience and networking, that has helped me secure work at BHP – a leading global resources company.”

“Mentoring Mehdi and seeing his personal growth was a highlight for me,” Balraj said. “The program gave me the space to develop my coaching skills and appreciate the challenges that new migrants face when searching for professional roles in Australia.

“It was also a reminder that we need to see and value global experience just as much as Australian experience and leverage off the high level of diversity we have here in Australia.”

 

The Kaleidoscope Initiative has been supported by the State Government through the Office of Multicultural Interests. The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is being implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, the City of Canning and Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the Western Australian Government. The Program has been created in consultation with the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Their successful TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program is the model for mentoring programs across Canada and internationally.

Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Siddier Chambers

Kaleidoscope Mentee Success Story – Siddier Chambers

We spoke with Siddier Chambers (LinkedIn), a current mentee of the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program, and asked her to share her experiences, benefits and successes from the participating in the program.

1. Tell us a little about your home/country.

I’m from the beautiful island of Jamaica, where we produce the best music (reggae), the fastest man in the world (Usain Bolt) and where it’s always summer!

2. Tell us a little about your employment/professional experience in your home country.

Back home I worked with the Government of Jamaica in several senior management and policy roles for 12 years.

3. How long have you been in Australia (and WA in particular)?

I did my PhD in Public Policy at Curtin University between 2013-2017; went back home and returned to Australia in November 2019, over 10 months ago.

4. Can you tell us about the challenges you have faced in your job search journey in WA?

Responding to the selection criteria was the greatest difficulty I encountered in my job search.

5. What skills did you gain from participating in the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program and how did this help you in your job search?

My ability to respond to the selection criteria and how to strengthen my resume were some of the skills that were beneficial from the KMP.

6. What are three key benefits (e.g. confidence) you gained by joining the program?

Being more confident, having enhanced knowledge of the work culture and a supportive network are some of the benefits I’m enjoying as a KMP mentee.

7. What was the best part of being a mentee? 

Meeting like-minded professionals and having a mentor were the best part of the KMP for me.

8. In your opinion, did you improve your understanding of Australian workplace culture and job application processes through participation in the program?

Learning about the Application Tracking System was an eye-opening experience for me. I believe being exposed to the top employability skills was a real bonus that I will keep and hone throughout my career.

9. In what ways did participating in the program expand your community networks or knowledge in a particular area?

I now have connections with a large group of international professionals, which has significantly expanded my professional network here in Australia.

10. What advice would you share with a new mentee starting the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program?

Enrol early, make the most of every opportunity and you’ll have a rewarding experience as a KMP mentee!

Last chance to apply!

Interested in becoming a KMP mentee? Applications close soon for particular occupations. Spaces are limited, apply today to avoid missing out!

Apply as a mentee

Want to become a KMP mentor? We are continuously recruiting mentors, apply now for KMP Cycle 1 2021.

Apply as a mentor

The Kaleidoscope Initiative has been supported by the State Government through the Office of Multicultural Interests. The Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program is being implemented under a partnership between the City of Stirling, the City of Canning and Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and the Western Australian Government. The Program has been created in consultation with the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Their successful TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program is the model for mentoring programs across Canada and internationally.