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Global Skills Migration Competition

Global Skills Migration Competition

Falling fertility fuels demand. THE global “war for skills” was intensifying as declining fertility in Western and Asian countries put overseas student recruitment atop the productivity agenda.

According to migration expert Lesleyanne Hawthorne, as Australia squeezed the independent skilled migration class used by overseas students, declining fertility was fuelling international competition for skilled migrants.

“Within a generation, select OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries are at risk of contracting by a third, with severe productivity implications,” said the University of Melbourne’s associate dean, international. She said most OECD countries had fertility rates below replacement level. Countries with traditionally high birthrates, such as Mexico, were contracting, while others, such as Japan, Germany, Italy, Spain and Korea, “were in free fall”. .

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