Transforming the lives of refugee engineers through the EPIC Program

The Engineering Pathway Industry Cadetship (EPIC) program, of which Swinburne has been a key partner of since its inception in 2020, is a testament to the power of collaboration between academia, government, and industry.

Refugee engineers often face significant challenges in having their international qualifications recognised and gaining local work experience.

EPIC, which is a Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) initiative, addresses these issues by providing an 18-month paid cadetship that includes on-the-job training, mentorship, and the opportunity to earn a Graduate Certificate in Infrastructure Engineering Management from Swinburne.

“Swinburne is proud to partner with the LXRP on this transformational program,” said Professor Emad Gad, Swinburne’s Dean of the School of Engineering.

“We are humbled to play a small part in providing employment pathways that are so critical to the livelihoods of our participants,” said Angela Brown, Manager of Industry Capability and Development at LXRP.

Empowering Talent Through Collaboration

Building on decades of training experience in the fields of civil engineering and construction management, Swinburne’s Department of Civil and Construction Engineering co-designed the Graduate Certificate of Infrastructure Engineering Management with industry experts to equip cadets with essential skills to meet immediate industry needs and future proof their careers.

“Cadets gain valuable local work experience by participating in major transport infrastructure projects across Victoria. Each cadet is paired with an industry mentor who provides guidance and support throughout the program,” said Professor Gad.

“Through several successful cohorts of enthusiastic and capable graduates, EPIC is an exemplary partnership of government, university, and industry that provides long-lasting benefits to the economy and community”.

Helping refugee engineers excel

As EPIC continues to grow, a new cohort of refugee engineers is set to begin their journey in October 2024.

“Swinburne remains dedicated to empowering refugees and fostering an inclusive environment where all students, regardless of their background, have the opportunity to succeed,” said Professor Gad.

“We’ve been able to facilitate 70 engineers in gaining employment on Victorian transport infrastructure projects since 2020, and have helped engineers reconnect with their careers and overcome underemployment. This is a really significant priority for us at LXRP,” said Ms Brown.

“We’ve only been able to achieve this through the collaboration and support of industry employers, community partners and of course, Swinburne.”

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