Immigration prevents "brain drain" in Australia

28 June 2005

A new study argues that Australia is not suffering a so-called "brain drain," when a country loses many of its skilled workers. The Monash University study found high immigration and the return of Australian professionals from abroad have eased the skills shortage.

In 2003-04, Australia had a net increase of 43,612 skilled workers, up from 29,375 two years earlier. The increase in professional jobs grew from 15,866 to 27,338 over the same period.

The Monash Population and Urban Research Centre study looked at the movement of Australian residents, long-term visitors and new migrants over several years.

The study found that in 2003-04 there was a net gain of 5890 computer experts -- the most of any professional group. Next came engineers (2987), nurses (2483) and accountants (2015). There was also a net gain of 1271 skilled construction workers and 1032 in mechanical engineering trades.

The Federal Government boosted the migrant intake to 140,000 in 2004-05, the highest number for more than 30 years.