Big opportunity beckons for qualified migrants

QUALIFIED migrants whose skills may not be recognised in Queensland will now have the opportunity to be trained at The Workshops Rail Museum as part of the agreement between Rail Skills Australasia and the State Government.

A memorandum of understanding was signed at the rail museum yesterday to commit to providing training and job opportunities in the rail industry for 30 migrants.

Multicultural Affairs Minister Glen Elmes said the rail museum was the perfect place to train potential workers.

"You've got this wonderful facility here that goes back 149 years," he said.

"Why not train people surrounded by the industry as it was, as it is and as it can be.

"You can build a new training building or you could bring them to a place like the railway museum. It's another avenue for revenue to come to the site here. It will help everyone including migrants and the Ipswich community."

Mr Elmes said the partnership between Rail Skills and the State Government would create real and sustainable jobs for culturally diverse Queenslanders.


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"We are all migrants or descendants from migrants in Australia," he said. "Regardless of how people got here, they have generally come from exceptionally bad circumstances.

"If we want to move to the USA, or Europe, we always have the option to come back. These people don't.

"People who come here are typically very determined people who just want an opportunity to get into the workforce and make something for themselves and their families."

Mr Elmes signed the memorandum alongside Chair of Rail Skills Australasia Tom Wiltshire.

"Our organisation has a long history with indigenous Australians and migrants," Mr Wiltshire said.

Mr Wiltshire said he has had many experiences with migrant workers and told the story of a Columbian woman he met who had a job cleaning toilets, although was a qualified civil engineer in Columbia.

The chair of the not-for-profit organisation said the woman is now a senior civil engineer in the rail industry.

"The opportunity to do things like this allows us to find people with great qualifications," he said.

The Queensland Government will provide $20,000 to support the initiative under the new economic participation grants program.

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