'Specialists wind up driving cabs'
‘Specialists wind up driving cabs’

Mohammad Al-Khafaji, the CEO of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia, says capability acknowledgment is only one explanation transients think that its difficult to increase pertinent work.

“There is a culture in Australia where capability doesn’t generally mean a lot,” he says.

“In Australia, we have this fixation on ‘Australian experience’.”

Chirag Khunt, a pharmaceutical science graduate who relocated to Australia from India in 2011, encountered this direct.

“The greatest inquiry [which was a] challenge to me was: ‘do you have neighborhood experience?’ which I don’t,” he says.

He’s since been able to secure a job in his field: working in quality control and assurance for a multinational pharmaceutical company.

But it hasn’t come easily.

When he first moved to Australia, applying for work was a “challenge” because he wasn’t sure how to format a CV and had “no clue” about cover letters.

“I started applying for jobs and ended up applying for 250 plus jobs in four to five months,” he says.

“Every day I was getting emails saying my application was unsuccessful.

Mr Al-Khafaji sees this as a “missed opportunity” for employers, particularly in fields where there are skills shortages.

“If we continue on the path that we are continuing on now, we will miss out on a huge percentage of very qualified, very innovative people that we should be welcoming,” he says.

“It’s making some of our doctors or engineers end up driving taxis or Ubers.”

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