The Multicultural Economic Participation Forum (MEPF) has run more than half of its series of pilots sessions. Started on Sept 5th, MEPF has explored its first topic – “What’s Out There for the Tasmanian Economy? What are Jobs of the Future?” – over five Saturdays. Since last Saturday, the forum has started discussing the second topic “Where are Resources Assisting Employment and Entrepreneurship?”.
The forum has attracted more than 200 participants, and counting.
“The multicultural community’s responses have been very positive”, said Jade Li, the project manager, “because there is a strong demand to find a way out of the challenging job market.”
Speakers for the past six Saturdays came from various stakeholders, such as independent economist Mr. Saul Eslake, State Growth, Regional Development Australia – Tasmania, City of Hobart, City of Glenorchy, Tasmanian Small Business Council, a local business owner, an employment service provider, and Australian Government’s Local Jobs Program.
Learning the strategic-level information from these speakers enables the participants to proactively identify opportunities in the job market or new businesses. “Our forum does not give people fish directly, but offer a fishing rod for people to catch their own.” Jade said.
Many anecdotal stories in the multicultural community have show highly educated and qualified talents having a hard time finding work suitable for their skills. Past weeks’ talks have pointed to some potential directions: renewable energy, education, small businesses, healthcare sector. Applying migrants’ talents to these area may offer a solution? No one has the correct answer, but exploring possibilities is the first step towards a more meaningful economic participation.