Rising number of Italians moving to Australia to escape economic woes, research suggests

by Ray Clancy on December 3, 2014

in Australia Immigration

A surprising number of Italians have been moving to Australia in search of a new way of life away from the austerity and poor economic outlook in Europe, it is claimed.

Indeed, more than 20,000 Italians arrived in Australia in the 2012/2013 financial year, the biggest wave for almost half a century, according to research.

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More than 20,000 Italians arrived in Australia in the 2012/2013 year

Using figures from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) research group Australia One Way, which is made up of Italians in Australia, says the current arrivals exceed the number of Italians that arrived in 1950/1951 during the previous migration boom following Second World War.

Spokesman Michele Grigoletti said he has been surprised by just how many of his countrymen are making the move to Australia. ‘Italians are coming to Australia in numbers we could not expect,’ he added.

The trend is likely to continue, with the first six months of data from 2013/2014 showing that numbers are still rising. There was also a 116% increase in the number of Italian citizens in Australia with a temporary visa.

But working holiday visas are also proving to be popular with young people between the ages of 18 and 30 who are using the programme to spend time visiting and working in Australia. This is perhaps due to a lack of jobs for young people in Italy.

The figures show that almost 16,000 working holiday visas were granted to young Italians in 2012/2013, up 66% on the previous financial year.

Silvia Pianelli was 26 when she decided to make the move from Italy to Australia four years ago after spending years trying to secure a full time job in Italy. ‘I was still living with mum and dad, I wanted to be independent, I wanted to challenge myself and I thought I needed to go,’ she said.

She now has a job in Sydney but said not all young hopefuls who make the move are so lucky. ‘They try for one year, some of them try to stay longer and some miss home too much and they try to go back,’ she explained.

‘It’s difficult at the start because I had very basic English and you don’t learn the language which is spoken by everyday Australians. It’s a big difference,’ she added.

‘For a young Italian person that has no work and no opportunity to obtain or maintain a job, it’s an opportunity to try a new life in Australia. It provides hope and that’s what a young person wants, hope to create a future,’ added Grigoletti.

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