Australian employers missing out on migrants

02 August 2011


A new report by English language and settlement services provider AMESfinds that employers are missing out on a valuable segment of theAustralian workforce: skilled migrants.

The report, Words to Work, follows a recent announcement thatWestern Australia has declared the city of Perth as a regionalemployment zone, allowing it to nominate skilled migrants for jobsthat do not normally qualify under Australia's skilled immigrationschemes.

The study finds that skilled migrants represent an underused segmentof the labour pool, but are a motivated and committed workforce.

The report found that 95 percent of skilled migrants arriving inAustralia intend to find long-term employment, and plan to takecourses and training to bring their skills up to local standards.

"People who have recently arrived in Australia are realistic aboutentering the workforce in the face of several challenges including lowlevels of English, lack of local experience and in some cases, lack ofeducation or transferable skills," said AMES General Manager ofCommunity and Policy, Cath Scarth in a press release.

30 percent of participants in the study said that they would take "anyjob" to get started in Australia. Over the duration of the study, 40percent found paid employment in Australia. 55 percent had longer termgoals to gain employment in a field that was more suitable to theirskill sets.

The study's participants included refugees and migrants who arrived inAustralia within the last two years and were learning English in theDepartment of Immigration and Citizenship funded Adult Migrant EnglishProgram. According to the study, there was strong support for initialsettlement government funded English programs.

The study should be good news to employers seeking skilled workers inAustralia. The country has recovered from the economic downturn of a few years ago better than most and needs skilled migrants to fill labour gaps,particularly in the booming resources industry.