Australia a world leader in skilled migration

April 9, 2012

Business, International

April 9, 2012

Australia a world leader in skilled migration
Australia is at the forefront of global credentials recognition, making it easier for skilled migrants to gain employment in relevant fields such as resource mining.
Catherine Armitage
Brisbane Times
Australia is leading the world in removing barriers for foreign workers with an agenda for ready recognition of overseas credentials which is “radical in global terms”, according to a world authority on skilled labor migration.
The country’s skilled migration program had undergone a revolution from permanent to temporary entry and from points-tested to employer-nominated as the dominant basis of entry, said Lesleyanne Hawthorne, a consultant to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on migrant labor to meet global skills shortages.
The recent decision to allow skilled US workers to get work licences on arrival instead of in the US, and the introduction of Enterprise Migration Agreements for large-scale resources projects, are the latest steps in a decades-long process of freeing up entry to the Australian workforce. This started under the 1980s Hawke government, said Professor Hawthorne, from the University of Melbourne.
Permanent skilled migration to Australia had almost quadrupled in the past 15 years.
The “privatization” of the skilled migration program was well advanced, she said, as 70 per cent of Australia’s labor migrants were employer-sponsored by 2009.
Temporary skilled migrant arrivals surpassed permanent arrivals in 2007-08 at 110,570 compared with 108,500. Though they had since dropped back, it was clear Australia’s “old paradigm” of permanent migration was disappearing, Professor Hawthorne said.
Occupations preferred by employers for importing labor were significantly different from those selected by government. The top five professions selected by government in order were accounting, computing, architecture/building, engineering and nursing. For employers it was nursing, computing, business professionals, engineers and sales and marketing professionals. The choice of source countries also differed, with the government favoring Asian countries and employers favoring English-speaking countries.

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