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Making Better Use of the Skills of Migrant Engineers in Australia

October 2009

Merv Lindsay Chair Migrant Engineers Support Committee discusses making better use of the skills of migrant engineers. In the letter Merv tells us that despite skills shortages migrant engineers are not being adequately utilised.

“The problem is not been ignored by Engineers Australia’ says Merv.

Migrant engineers need to be connected with resources to help them. Merv says that examples of some of the resources available include a number of outstanding publications by Tribus Lingua including Ian Little’s book and DVD “Project Australia:Land That Engineering Job in Australia

Read the full letter here…

Letter to the Editor from October’s edition of Engineers Australia Magazine.

Indian Engineer Overcomes Local Experience Job Barrier in Australia

September 2009

Civil Engineer Anil Reddy from India talks with Ailis Logan from Tribus Lingua about how he landed a great civil engineering job in Australia. Anil was told that he would not get a job as he had no local experience, but how do you get local expereince when you cannot get a job?  We get up close and personal with Anil Reddy to show that it can be done…watch Anil’s story here…

Guide for ICT Professionals to Victoria

June 2009

Tribus Lingua has recently partnered with the Victorian Government to publish a guide for ICT professionals to Victoria. working-in-victoria-ict-guide

This guide assists ICT professionals  to orientate themselves after they arrive in Victoria; and provides an easy-to-follow overview of Victoria’s labour market.

Sponsored by the Victorian Government and published by Tribus Lingua, the guide provides easy access to key information and advice to support an ICT career in Victoria. To download the Guide to your computer

Working in Victoria, a guide for ICT professionals

Tribus Lingua helps engineering migrant land a Job in Australia in 7 days!

June 2009

Project Australia – the formula for success every engineering migrant to Australia needs!

Iranian civil engineer Mehdi Razkenari was the lucky winner of a prize for free coaching in the Project Australia approach to getting a job donated by publisher tribus lingua. This helped him land his first engineering job in Australia with Negri Construction, Civil Engineering Contractors. At the Engineers Australia Careers Expo in Melbourne in April Mehdi, along with hundreds of others entered into a draw for free coaching and advice on the Project Australia process with Ailis Logan, founder of tribus lingua and Ian Little, author Project Australia, Land that engineering job in Australia.

Mehdi arrived in Australia from Iran in January 2009 on a general skilled migration visa.

He was job ready. He had six years of varied site and project engineering experience on a range of projects in the Middle East. His qualifications had been accredited by Engineers Australia and his English was well above the minimum standard required.

In 3 months Mehdi made over 1000 job applications without getting an interview. Not surprisingly he and his wife were getting discouraged and thinking of returning to Iran. The Expo prize has changed his life. Direct coaching on the Project Australia process enabled Mehdi to demonstrate what he had to offer to an employer.

A week later at Mehdi’s next job interview he was offered a job with Negri.

Mehdi’s success was due to his perseverance and willingness to adapt to a new approach. After the coaching he had developed a CV that showed who he really was and what he had to offer.

What can all engineers learn from Mehdi’s experience?

High quality targeted job applications win the job.

  • A quality CV is needed to get you to interview.
  • Prepare thoroughly for job interviews.
  • A good mentor is invaluable.
  • The skills can be learnt from home.
  • Be able to demonstrate your knowledge of Australian standards.
  • The importance of networking at Engineers Australia functions.

Richard Negri of Negri Construction describes Mehdi as a “fantastic” addition to the Negri team. Mehdi will be working on some of the largest Victorian infrastructure projects and gaining invaluable experience at Negri Construction.

To contact the publisher about this article submit an enquiry on our contact page, contact tribus lingua.

Learn more about Project Australia

Project Australia

Guide for Engineers to Victoria

February 2009

Tribus Lingua has recently partnered with the Victorian Government to publish a Guide for Engineers to Victoria. guide-for-engineers-to-victoria

This guide assists engineers to orientate themselves after they arrive in Victoria; and provides an easy-to-follow overview of Victoria’s labour market for engineers.

Sponsored by the Victorian Government, written by experienced engineer and migrant mentor Ian Little and published by Tribus Lingua, the guide provides easy access to key information and advice to support an engineering career in Victoria.

Download the workbook here

Working in Victoria, a guide for engineers

Ailis Logan and Ian Little discuss the ‘other side of think local’ with the Weekend Professional

September 2008

Demanding ‘local experience’ doesn’t guarantee the best person for the job “Bill Gates wouldn’t get a job in Australia because he has no local experience”, says Ailis Logan, the founder of Tribus Lingua, a consultancy assisting skilled migrants find jobs. Logan is only half joking. She believes that Australian employers value local experience much more that their counterparts in Europe and the US. For the many overseas professionals entices here by the lure of a bountiful job market, the difficulty of finding a job without local experience is no joke. Click here to open a pdf and read the entire article

Tribus Lingua launches its new Australian Career Information Series Start Smart

June 2007

jill-noble-smart-startStart Smarts are a series of paperback and digital e-books that each focus on a specific area of career development in Australia, usually in fewer than 60 pages. Whether you’re an international student, a skilled migrant job-seeker or business visitor to Australia, our quick reference Start Smarts offer you a thorough but easy to read explanation on crucial Australian employment and career subjects. The first two in the Series are Networking in Australia and Engaging Recruiters in Australia both written by recruitment guru Jill Noble.

With over 10 years international experience in the career training and recruitment industry Jill was the perfect person to author these subjects. Jill is a regular contributor to the national and international press and has been quoted in many articles in the area of Education, Careers, Recruitment, Selection and HR Services. She is a guest and keynote speaker on careers, job market trends and graduate job seeking for many of Australia’s leading Universities.

New Book Reveals the Secret to Success in the Australian Workplace

June 2007

individual-gday-bossThe recent release of G’Day Boss! Australian Culture and the Workplace – available in paperback or digital e-book from publisher Tribus Lingua – has heralded a new era in understanding the mosaic of cultures and customs engrained in the Australian workplace. It’s the first study of its kind into the enormously diverse mixture of personalities and beliefs in our unique nation, revolutionising the help available for anyone working, employing or exporting here. Gone is the notion that Australia is “just another Western society”. Authors Barbara West and Frances Murphy – two well-travelled academics of the working world – talked to hundreds of workers based in Australia from all corners of the globe and some of the country’s most experienced management specialists.

Listening to their illustrative stories and delving deep into their attitudes, perceptions, hearts and minds. Analysis of these interviews, in conjunction with numerous research studies, dissects the Australian culture, values, behaviour and communication like never before. Underlying the multitude of multicultural issues and conflicts in custom that are highlighted, is the undeniable fact our diversity makes us like no other place in the world.

“We are an incredibly multicultural society, with a patchwork past”, explains co-author and American ex-pat, Barbara West. “Currently in Australia there are 52% of us who were born elsewhere, or have a parent who was. The combination of our different heritages, cultures, customs and values result in a unique DNA footprint in terms of our workplace ethics and processes.

Book Review by Sue Utber : Land That Job in Australia – Successful Job-Hunting for Migrants


‘Skills shortage drives parts- maker overseas’ (The Age April 2006). This is an often heard and frustrated cry from our manufacturing industries. However, new stories of skilled migrants driving taxis or living on employment benefits are also regularly reported. So what is the problem? Does the skilled – migration program have it wrong? Are the skills of those arriving under the program not the skills required in the Australian workplace?


Is it the experience of the AMES Skilled Professional Migrants’ Program and the opinion of Jim and Karen Bright in their book, Land the job in Australia, that the problems for newly arrived CLDB migrants are not skills mismatch or inadequate skills standards but that they must meet Australian employers’ expectations of the job applications processes. This process includes resume presentations, appropriate interview techniques and workplace knowledge – in short, job seekers are expected to ‘Australianise’ their approach to job hunting.

Effective job hunting in a competitive market is a complex exercise for everyone. For the newly arrived migrant, it can be a bewildering, frustrating and even frightening prospect. There are underlying rules for job – hunters in Australia; Australian employers and recruiters expect hunters to comply with the ‘way we do things around here’.

These rules can be like the mysteries of secret rituals for the uninitiated. This can be further exacerbated for those from different language and cultural backgrounds.Land that job in Australia is a useful guide for CLDB migrants. In an easy-to read style and with range of examples and hunts, the book covers the need to market oneself and to translate abilities, skills and knowledge to an Australian context.

Structured around the metaphor of flying to a new country, the chapters address each stage of job- hunting preparation: ‘welcome aboard’; before you fly’; mapping your flight path’; ‘flight desk information’; ‘readying your landing gear’; and overcoming jet lag’. The authors comprehensively cover each stage of the job-hunting journey and break down the process with clear, practical information and advice.

However, one potential flaw with this structure is that for migrants already in Australia, tasks identified as necessary and requiring completion prior to leaving the country of origin could cause the some anxieties. It also assumes that book is available for prospective migrants pre-embarkation.

Ten case studies are scattered throughout the book; most demonstrate ways to overcome issues and offer strategies for searching for ‘that job in Australia’. Case studies are positive; we witness the very human side of the job- hunter and learn how he or she approached and overcame hurdles. The case studies provide reality to the hypothetical. It can be comforting for a newcomer in the throes of job- hunting to know they are not alone in what can seem an indomitable task.

The book thoroughly covers resume writing covers resume writing and provides a number of styles as examples. The rationale of what to include and how is also explained – solving the apparent mysteries of why certain approaches are recommended for the Australian context. Layout, presentation hints and ways of describing previous positions to demonstrate skills and achievements are clearly presented.

The authors also explained cover letters and provide models. Some applications may have no experience from their own cultures in addressing selection criteria. Again, the book clearly describes this skill and provides examples. An area of caution is the colloquial language used, which some people from non-English speaking backgrounds may find difficult. In addition, the visual layout could have been improved with better text design.

There are many materials available on this topic, especially for CLDB job seekers, but a strength of this book is the range of information provided in the one resource. They clearly defined topics and the index of useful web sites, addresses, contacts and departments for the job seeker are easily accessible.

We are witnessing much public and media discussion of the skills crisis Australia. Suggested solutions range from guest-worker schemes to direct sponsored employment programs. However, perhaps a simpler solution is to better prepare the jobseeker in the ways proposed in Land that job in Australia. Programs along these lines, in conjunction with a work placement scheme in professions identified as experienced shortages, could also help solve the difficulties for both employers and job seekers.