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Career Support for the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

October 14, 2022 | Uncategorised

‘The strength of the Skills & Jobs Centre lies not only in its attendance to individual client needs, but also in strong partnerships with community and local industry, linking training and skills development to relevant employment opportunities and local economy growth.’

When working with people from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background, Skills and Jobs Centre Career Advisors need to be conscious of the impact cultural differences can have on many aspects of the individual’s life. When consulting with CALD clients about their career aspirations, it is important that any advice provided accounts for cultural diversity and caters for individual differences. The Skills and Jobs Centre therefore works closely with CALD clients to acquire knowledge about their cultural diversity and apply this knowledge in the context of helping them with their career needs.

People from all cultural backgrounds should be aware of the myriad of job options and career pathways available in Australia, despite the fact that cultural stereotypes may inhibit people from considering the full range of options available to them. In addition to this, as the process of career exploration involves a great deal of content-specific language, people from CALD backgrounds often need extra assistance to understand the language associated with skills assessment, career goal setting, industry sectors, job advertisements, application forms, references and safe work practices. Breaking down these knowledge and language barriers to allow consideration of all options is handled sensitively to ensure CALD clients are given the opportunity to explore all suitable career options.

The Skills and Jobs Centre also partners with community organisations such as the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) to manage our work with CALD clients. Those referred by such organisations for career counselling and job-readiness services are extensively supported with informed career counselling, training referrals and connections to other relevant community services in order to feel prepared to (re)enter the workforce.

For further information on how to access our services, including employment opportunities, individual career counselling and online workshops visit:



Lydia, a temporary resident on a bridging visa was referred to the Skills and Jobs Centre by CMY’s ‘Reconnect’ program for career advice and assistance with searching for work. At her initial appointment Lydia explained that she had previously been studying at university in Liberia with the intention of pursuing a career in medicine, however, since arriving in Australia she felt unsure of how to continue on this pathway and had an immediate need to find work in order to secure more permanent accommodation.

The Skills and Jobs Centre worked with Lydia to help her discover her long term career goals. Lydia was confused by the further education system in Australia, so learnt about the different AQF levels and pathway courses to help her achieve her aspirations. She also developed several short-term, achievable goals and worked with the Skills and Jobs Centre and CMY to enrol in a funded youth mental health first aid course. Lydia’s status as a temporary resident initially limited her ability to pursue further studies, so her focus became to look for work instead, with assistance from the Skills and Jobs Centre to create an effective resume and cover letter, as well as developing skills and confidence when applying for jobs. As a result, Lydia secured a warehousing role at ‘Hello Fresh’.

Through collaboration with CMY, the Skills and Jobs Centre was additionally able to assist Lydia to address some of her other barriers. This included referrals for mental health and social support and one-on-one sessions to discuss cultural norms (including workplace practices) and referral to a mentor for assistance with managing schedules and appointments. CMY’s ‘Reconnect’ program also helped Lydia with navigating the public transport system and undertaking driving lessons in order to obtain a driver’s licence.

The Skills and Jobs Centre has continued to help Lydia by assisting her with key selection criteria responses and interview preparation in her pursuit of more meaningful work with youth, for which she was successful in gaining an interview. Through ongoing encouragement, feedback sessions and discussions on how to manage rejection, Lydia developed confidence in her own abilities. She applied for Jobs Victoria’s Early Childhood Traineeship and was ultimately successful in securing this role, commencing in August 2022. Lydia reports that she enjoys her new role and feels that she is finally on her way towards developing a career with children, which she is passionate about.

Lydia’s experience demonstrates that despite the many and varied challenges faced by those from a CALD background, with guided support an individual can develop the resilience required to successfully pursue their career goals.