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Australian Skilled Professional Immigration

Australian Skilled Professional Immigration

Why we’re expert at riding the brain wave.

Dr Haikerwal — a former president of the Australian Medical Association and the victim of a much-publicised violent robbery in Williamstown in 2008 — is one of Australia’s best-known foreign-trained doctors. He is also an example of how Australian governments prefer to get the nation’s experts on the cheap. Other countries educate them, saving Australia hundreds of millions of dollars, and the migrating professionals will even pay their own way here…..


There were also more than 4200 computing experts and 1400 civil engineers among the 40,000 migrant professionals on 457 visas. And these numbers do not include the tens of thousands of other professionals who have gained permanent residency or become Australian citizens.

Many migrants with degrees, however, experience problems getting their qualifications accredited. Employers, too, are often reluctant to hire newcomers from non-English-speaking countries, especially if they lack good communication skills.

According to the 2006 census, more than 8000 qualified engineers aged 20-29 from non-English-speaking countries arrived in Australia in the previous five years. Yet barely one in four have found jobs in their field and the great majority are working as taxi drivers, clerks or in the trades.

The situation was even worse for migrants with IT, accounting and other business qualifications. Likewise, fewer than one in five young IT professionals were using the skills they graduated with, while more were working as clerks or in sales and 14 per cent were driving taxis or employed as machine operator or labourers.

Dr Bob Birrell and Dr Ernest Healy, of Monash University’s Centre for Population and Urban Research, investigated the employment prospects of the various migrant professionals, including accountants. They found the demand for accountants from English-speaking countries is particularly strong, with 80 per cent of those who migrated here by 2006 employed as managers or professionals.

But for those whose first language was not English, only one in four had accounting positions. The rest were either unemployed or mostly working in low-skilled jobs. Worst affected were the India-born, with only 21 per cent of those aged 20 to 29 having found positions in the field, while the figure was 22 per cent for those from China.

“Almost all these China and India-born accountants would have been trained in Australia,” Dr Birrell says. “If Australian training was an advantage, they should have done better than their older, overseas-trained counterparts, but they did not.”

Well The Age is really showing its age….. At best the views in this article are racist, paternalistic, patronising and suggest that Australia should shut itself off from the world and only accept migrants from (white) Anglo countries.

It ignores the fact that we have an ageing population, thus less resources for free education, and fact that we do not dictate to Australians where they should choose to work or live internationally, but (Asian) immigrants we can? Birrells purported “research” has been criticised for flawed methodology and biased empirical fields i.e. he has it in for non Anglo immigrants, does not see need for Australan business and society to interact with Asia, let alone reflect on how they can take advantage of Asian graduates. Unfortunately many Australians would like to see a return to the days of white Australia and less diverse economy dependent upon digging stuff out of the ground or growing stuff for export, versus sophisticated services requiring graduates and (Asian) languages……

Has anyone stopped to think that maybe the Australian education system needs changing?

3 Responses to “Australian Skilled Professional Immigration”

  1. You completely misunderstand the research in question. The point it made was that the English language skills of these folks are insufficient for the jobs they would. That simple. What you suggest above are simply your reactive embellishments.

    • “Reactive embellishments”? Suppose that’s all one would expect from a member of the “elite” like moi🙂

      Seriously, why do foriegners get the blame for a skills demand from, and system designed by Australia? IT’s a little bit too easy and reactive to demonise them?

      Further, professional communication is not simply an English test score, but includes inter cultural expertise. Also reflects a lack of HR and recruitment expertise in Australia if there are employees without required communication skills and support.

      Additionally, the Australian education sector, including universities, are now offering professional years etc. to improve communication and work skills of graduates.

      Research has found that both international and local applicants are subject to discrimination if they have non Anglo surnames, and worst, many younger graduates cannot get experience to use and improve their communiciation in the workplace.

      Conversely, as the CPA once stated, many of our international students have the langauge skills needed for Australia to do business internationally where our present and future wealth lies, i.e. Asia.

  2. Would add, the importance of other language skills when dealing with trading partners, whether multinationals or SMEs, is exemplified by German business.

    When we sell to you we do so in your language, but if you want to sell to us, you must use ours🙂

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