Australia is Not Currently Supporting Its Skilled Immigrants Well

David Crump 5.3.09 (Left to right) Olympic site workers Randeep Singh, 20, Amrit Chawla, 20, and Gurpreet Singh, 21, all from India, who are counted as local workers because they are living in Stratford, East London. See Sue Reid Story.

Written by Perth Migration Agents

Since 1988, Australia’s skilled immigration system is believed to have attracted hundreds of thousands of highly qualified immigrants. However, this situation has led to a lot of wastage in these skills. Since almost 40% of recent immigrants are overqualified, it’s been a bit hard for them to secure suitable jobs. As a matter fact, they are four times more educated than the native Australians.

But what could be the problem? Well, it’s believed that proper coordination between employment policies and Australia’s migration system could be lacking. While the migration system is committed to supplying immigrants to the labor market, employment policies are not keen on getting the most out of them. Due to this, it’s possible to have skill shortage and qualified immigrants who cannot be able to fill up the positions. Since they lack the relevant skills to work in Australia, this problem is so rampant.

This situation has not only affected the immigrants but also the Australians as well. Because of this, the government is not collecting enough tax revenue which has in turn affected savings, public funding’s, investment and consumption expenditure. However, the young, the educated and the English speaking immigrants are favored by Australia’s skilled migration program. Although the country still accepting those who don’t have these characteristics, this has not been encouraged by the economics but rather by humanitarian Visa and family reunions.

This current system has led to imbalances between the skills available and what’s needed in the market. This can be attributed to the fact that employers usually take a long time to inform the immigration authorities on the skills needed in the market. For the government to address this situation, there has to be proper coordination between employment and immigration policies which is not the case in this current situation. While the migration policy is informed by the employees, they end up relying on population management. This means whether the immigrants find employment or not is the responsibility of a different department.

While new immigrants require a local labor market experience, no employer is inclined to provide this. This is especially true on professional occupations that require a license. While immigrants get accreditation soon after they settle, it takes time for them to enter their field.

Coordinating employment and immigration

One of the best ways of reducing this skill wastage is, therefore, to coordinate employment and immigration policies. For instance, data on skill shortages identified by the employers should be compared with the outcomes of the recent employment. This should be a joint task force between employment and immigration department. By doing this, the most serious issues of over qualification will be sorted out. Whether it’s poor quality skills, many skilled immigrants or lack of demand, these could be easily identified and solved.

Australian employment and immigration policies should also use these data to include targets related to migrants’ skills. This would, therefore, balance this situation so that the country can use all its resources efficiently and compete well in the international platform. Australia has been in the forefront in designing new policies that are in line with the labor market since 1988. It’s now focused on attracting migrants that could immediately be absorbed into the job market.

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