Lack of integration for skilled migrants and families in regional Australia

by Ray Clancy on February 7, 2014

in Australia, Australia Immigration, General Information

Skilled migrants and their families are at risk of not integrating into regional labour markets and communities in Australia as well as they could be, it is claimed.

Qualified migrants and their families often struggle to integrate into communities and more ought to be done to help them, says new research commissioned by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER.)

australia immigration

Research found that in regional areas with limited labour markets there are fewer strategies in place to support skilled migrants.

The organisation suggests that skilled migration should be approached from a family unit perspective as spouses of skilled migrants are often also often well qualified, highly skilled professionals with much to offer.

NCVER Research General Manager Sue Ferguson said settlement difficulties are compounded in regional areas with limited labour markets and few strategies in place to support transition for skilled migrants.

‘In many ways we need to apply the same sort of support humanitarian migrants receive to the skilled migrant program,’ she explained.

The research was centered on the town of Shepparton in the north east of the state of Victoria because it has an expanding number of migrants from new and emerging communities.

Professor Sue Webb of the department of education at Monash University, the lead author of the study, said the research did identify some good practices that enhanced some individual migrants’ employability.

‘These involved support in relation to job seeking, local work experience, volunteering and an understanding of specific professional networks and labour markets,’ she explained.

‘Skilled migrants are very adept at developing their capabilities and building new networks to gain work and integrate. Organisations would do well to recognise and build on such resourcefulness,’ she pointed out.

‘In the Technical and Further Education (TAFE) sector, a strategy of encouraging skilled migrants to participate in organised volunteer programs developed for humanitarian migrants, also facilitated the transition of some skilled migrants into a new field of development, ‘she added.


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