Migrants boost Australian workforce skills, data shows

by Ray Clancy on February 24, 2012

in Australia Immigration

Two thirds of all working age migrants possess academic or trade qualifications, it is claimed

Migrants have boosted Australia’s workforce skills, with two thirds of all working age migrants possessing academic or trade qualifications in 2010/11, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Its latest report points out that this is higher than the rate for people born in Australia. The data shows it is 66% for migrants and 56% for Australian born workers.

The proportion of working age migrants who were at least 15 years old when they arrived in Australia and who had already completed a degree has tripled, rising from 15% in the early 1990s to 44% in the last five years.

Overall, 59% of people aged 15 to 64 years in Australia had a qualification compared with 51% in 2001.

The unemployment rate in 2010’11 for people without a qualification was around double the rate for those with a qualification, some 7.3% compared with 3.4%.

When asked about the main impact of their highest qualification on their working life, about one quarter, some 26%), said it assisted them in joining the workforce for the first time and 9% said it assisted them in getting a promotion or pay rise, however, 18% said their highest qualification had no impact.

Of the 11.2 million employed people, around half, some 51%, were working in a field that was relevant to their highest qualification, while 14% believed their qualification was not relevant and about a third, 35%, had no qualifications.

Of the 14% of employed people, some 1.6 million, who reported that their highest qualification was not relevant to their current job, 29% stated this was because they were no longer interested in the field of their highest qualification.

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