Research reveals how well skilled visa holders do in the jobs market

by Ray Clancy on April 17, 2013

in Jobs in Australia

Government initiatives did not entice workers to move interstate, study finds

Research reveals how well skilled visa holders do in the jobs market

Almost a million skilled visas have been issued in Australia in the last decade and holders now account for more than 60% of all permanent places, according to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). Last year almost 130,000 skilled visa holders settled in Australia and research from the Continuous Survey of Australia’s Migrants (CSAM) shows how well people settle in the country.

The latest findings from the survey show that skilled migrants outperform the typical Australian. For example, at the six month stage unemployment among skilled migrants sits at about 5%, a figure on par with the national average. After a year unemployment among the skilled group falls to about 2%, the proportion in skilled work increases from 68% to 73% and average earnings increase by $4,000 per year.

Onshore skilled independents, who are former international students who were accepted as skilled migrants at the end of their studies, are less competitive against older more experienced workers for well paying, highly skilled jobs, according to the research. As a result many are either entering the professional labour market in entry level positions or are taking on less skilled work until something better comes along.

Those sponsored for skilled migration by state governments or family members are generally older and more experienced than onshore skilled independents. They are more likely to be found in skilled work and earn $8,000 more per year on average. Those who do the best include migrants who are sponsored by employers whose visa conditions require sponsorship in a full time skilled job.

Offshore independents with qualifications and more extensive work experience do well. They don’t get any concessions in the General Skilled Migration points test, unlike state and family sponsored visa holders. The CSAM research also provides evidence that recent skilled migration reforms are working and it reveals a diversity of employment outcomes.

Quote from AustraliaForum.com : “I am currently under going the beginning steps to my migration process, and I am not really sure where to start. I will be graduating in April with a diploma as an Architectural Technician. I have previous experience in graphic design, business administration, administration, marketing and customer service. Based on what I have been reading it seems like the skilled worker is the right path for me to take. Ideally this is a five plus year plan.”

‘In a wider context the needs of the Australian labour market are continually changing and the global competition for skills is increasing. For these reasons there is an ongoing need to make continued use of this survey,’ said a DIAC spokesman. ‘This will ensure that our skilled migration program and the range of policy tools such as the points test, the skilled occupation list and SkillSelect which help in deciding its size and composition are delivering the workers Australia needs,’ he added.

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