Cultural Awareness

New collaborative model for migrants to train in Aged Care



SkillME is a three-year pilot project funded by NSW Government through Multicultural NSW to assist migrants in Inner Sydney with skills and qualifications to find suitable employment, by helping them through the complex process of having their skills and qualification recognised and through training or work placement pathways. Metro Assist is the SkillMe project manager.


SkillME runs training programs in collaboration with employers and other partners to develop high quality employees.  The structure and delivery of these programs is flexible to meet the needs of employers.


A good example of this collaborative model is a recent training program in the aged and disability sector with CASS (Chinese Australian Services Society), MTC Australia, BCA National and SkillMe working in partnership to provide staff for the new CASS Aged Care facility.


“Over the last 35 years, CASS has dedicated to serving the community and addressing the needs of migrants.  Through this joint venture with other passionate community partners, we hope to train up quality people to join the aged care industry and to address the culturally specific needs of the ageing population. Ivan Wong, Senior Executive Officer, Home Ageing Services, CASS Group.


In the model illustrated in the chart above, the roles of the partners are:

  • CASS is the employer partner who informs the program of their needs, selects the RTO together with Metro Assist and coordinates work placement of participants in a range of their services.
  • BCA National is the RTO providing the training in Certificate III in Individual Support.
  • MTC Australia provides the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program component which improves language, literacy and numeracy skills. This component is integrated into vocational training with language, literacy and numeracy skills being taught in this program having a strong vocational and industry focus.
  • SkillMe (Metro Assist) works with CASS to design the program, brings the appropriate partners together, connects participants who are suitable for the program and has overall management of the program.


From a SkillMe participant’s perspective this collaborative model provides the support they need while they are doing their vocational training. It not only cuts down the time for them to engage with individual services but most importantly the combination of employer engagement, vocational training and language, literacy and numeracy  training helps them to put skills and knowledge from the classroom in to a workplace context.


A SkillMe collaborative model training program has recently completed in the Furniture Removal and Warehouse Operation sector.  The English levels of participants improved dramatically over the 6-month training period and even at this early stage since program completion, over 55% of participants have found employment.


There is potential to conduct more of the SkillMe Collaborative Model Training Programs. If you would like to explore how this opportunity could work for you please contact:


April Pan, SkillME Coordinator at Metro Assist

T: 02 9789 3744          E:


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Jillian and Brad Black My brother, who has a significant intellectual disability, has been an enormous influence in not only my life but the entire backbone of my family, making disability advocacy the dominant culture in our lives. But I never realised, until recently I could turn that personal passion into a career.

After completing a Bachelor of Communication in Media Arts I decided to take a bit of a left turn and head to Japan to teach English. I originally signed up for one year but that one year quickly turned into three.

After my time teaching abroad I returned to Australia to work for a disability employment service which saw me supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities in gaining access to the regular workforce.

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Casey GohI feel my cultural background has definitely helped me to be able to relate well to my clients at Sunshine, where I am working as a Casual Support Worker.

I was born in Malaysia and came to Australia with my family when I was 5 years old. At times I did experience discrimination when I was growing up, just like many different cultural groups. Even today I do experience it, but I think my openness in dealing with different situations and my constant exploration has allowed me to be able to overcome a lot of that discrimination. I have always pushed myself to be exposed to different things and to mix with all sorts of people. I am curious about everything and I’m able to overcome a lot of challenges.