Media in Australia on International Accounting Graduate Immigration
Latest news about accounting on the skilled occupation list and graduate work rights for international students in Australia.
From The Australian Financial Review:
‘Graduates hardest hit by decision to retain skilled migrant status for accountants. Accounting graduates will be hardest hit by a government decision to keep the profession on a list of in-demand occupations for skilled migrants, university experts says.
The decision, a boon to employers and a $4.8 billion cash cow for university business schools, comes despite the Department of Employment, which wanted accounting removed from the list, concluding there was a surplus of accountants and “deteriorating outcomes for graduates . . . relatively low pay rates for bachelor graduates and weak employment outcomes for masters graduates”.
Universities, who rely on international accounting students as a valuable source of income, and two of the major accounting bodies, who charge foreign accountants for membership and evaluation of their qualifications for migration, support keeping the occupation on the list.
These two groups cite, in part, shortages of accountants in certain specialisations and regional areas as evidence of the need to keep accounting on the list.
The government elected to keep accounting on the skilled occupation list, meaning qualified foreign workers can apply for a permanent visa without a sponsor, but to cut the intake from an annual average of 6500 over the past six years to 5000 from July 1….
… More than 40 per cent were working in a lower-skilled occupation or in an unspecified job a year after migration.
The AWPA report stated “the employment outcomes achieved by recent migrants nominating ‘accountant’ as their occupation are generally not as strong as the outcomes achieved by domestic workers with an accounting qualification.”
But it then concluded that these statistics do not “reflect a skills surplus of accountants” and added the outcomes were “likely to improve as new migrant cohorts live/work in Australia for longer periods and due to changes in migration policy.”’
‘Coalition continues to undermine local workers. Late last month, the federal Department of Employment questioned the efficacy of Australia’s 457 temporary worker visa system, arguing that it has created a continued reliance on foreign workers rather than developing required skills onshore. …. By keeping accounting on the skilled occupation list, qualified foreign workers are permitted to apply for a permanent visa into Australia without a sponsor.
It is understood that universities, which derive income from international accounting students, and two of the major accounting bodies, which charge foreign accountants fees for membership and evaluating qualifications for migration, support keeping the occupation on the list.
However, in the process, they effectively support making it systematically easier for employers to import labour from offshore rather than graduate locals, in turn depriving Australia’s youth of employment opportunities.’
From The Business Spectator:
‘An awkward time to mention migration. While all media attention is focused on Scott Morrison’s hard-line approach to asylum seekers, an economically more important part of the immigration portfolio is getting scant attention.
A week ago the independent body set up to work out what skills Australia has, what it should import and how to develop home-grown skills, was quietly disbanded and its functions rolled into the Department of Industry.
Was it just a case of reducing the number of government agencies, or was the intention to stop the independent Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency disturbing a delicate balance in the Australian economy?….
….. So what balance could that possibly disturb?
Well, to start with, there’s the government’s shift to uncapped university fees, more ‘diversity’ and a true ‘market’ in university education.
Universities do a brisk trade selling, among other things, accounting degrees to overseas students, who often see that qualification as a stepping stone to permanent residency and a good job.
But if, as Fairfax papers reported yesterday, Australia has too many accounting graduates already, then who would want AWPA actually saying that in future?’
‘Abbott’s toxic immigration policy. Business Spectator’s Robb Burgess has posted a thought provoking article questioning the motivations behind the Abbott Government’s so-called skilled migration program, which appears to have thrown-out checks and balances and is no longer based on economic need….
… Already, it has ignored the advice of the AWPA and the Department of Employment- which both argued that Australia has a surplus of accountants, with graduates facing poor employment prospects – and has instead chosen to keep accountants on a list of in-demand occupations for skilled migrants, meaning they are permitted to apply for a permanent visa into Australia without a sponsor.
In doing so, the Abbott Government has placed the interests of universities, which derive income from international accounting students, and the major accounting bodies, which charge foreign accountants fees for membership and evaluating qualifications for migration, ahead of locals trying to get a job.’
1. Macrobusiness, Business Spectator and Fairfax, i.e. supposedly Australian media of the centre (mostly ageing white middle class males) seem to have it in for international students and skilled immigrants with such articles appearing regularly, often simultaneously, excluding salient facts and clear thinking.
2. The annual cohort of skilled immigrants via accounting is to be 5000, in a very large occupation estimated to be 170,000 with 50,000 new positions expected over the next 5 years.
3. Issue is presented on a time frame of now, while ignoring prospects as in 2. and looming demographic issues for Australia. This results in focus upon accounting where many senior and experienced baby boomer accountants will be preparing for retirement while now possibly blocking progression for younger personnel.
4. Accounting as an occupation is changing with technology and more automated processing, suggesting that one should supplement accounting with with IS/IT study, or like many Australians, avoid the occupation altogether.
5. International students may gain a post graduate work visa, and be eligible to apply for permanent or skilled immigration, but no guarantee of success and they must depart Australia if that is the case.
6. Implies that Australian graduates cannot compete with international graduates and as Dr. Bob Birrell of Monash University claims, most international graduates don’t have requisite English language and business communication skills.
7. Through selective reporting and presentation the articles above seem more about white nativist ‘dog whistling’ as used with ‘population growth’ data, versus objective analysis with clear recommendations or solutions.
For more information about study in Australia for an ANZSCO SOL skilled occupation for immigration click through.