Migrants and Unemployment – Migrants’ qualifications are under-used for half of new arrivals not using their skills in their first job in Australia

Migrants’ qualifications are under-used with more than half of new arrivals not using their skills in their first job in Australia.

Migrants and Unemployment

The federal government on Monday will announce a $6.6 million fund to help tackle higher unemployment among migrants.

The Migrant Communities Employment Fund will be launched by Workplace Minister Bill Shorten and follows lobbying by Greens MP Adam Bandt, who has been highlighting the plight of migrants who are unable to use their qualifications in Australia.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Characteristics of Recent Migrants survey found much higher unemployment rates – 8.5 per cent – among recent migrants than in the Australian-born population.

Read more: Richard Willingham, State Political Correspondent for The Age

Unemployment among skilled migrants and their families is 30 per cent higher than for the population as a whole, new research shows, but those who do have a job are more likely to be in a professional role.

A new Bureau of Statistics report provides the clearest picture yet of the economic outcomes for Australia’s skilled migrant program by linking census data with the government’s migrant settlement database.

Although the program is geared towards overcoming serious skills shortages, a significant number of skilled migrants are unable to find work.

”[This] highlights the fact that the skilled migration program is not working,” a Sydney University migration expert, Dimitria Groutsis, said.

”We are not fully utilising the skills and vocational experience offered by people living overseas.

“Secondary Applicants”

The ABS report suggests another major contributing factor to the higher unemployment rate among migrants was the difficulty faced by the spouses and children of skilled migrant workers in finding work once they joined their partners in Australia. This group – known as ”secondary applicants” – is made up largely of women, children and other dependent relatives.

Read more SMH Paul Bibby

Migrants and Unemployment

  • 7.2% skilled migrants unemployed
  • 36 % of skilled migrants  professionals compared with 20% of workers generally
  • Skilled migrants living here for between four and six years 12 % more likely to have a full-time job than recent migrants
  • 68 % skilled migrant applicants have full-time jobs;
  • 32 % of their  dependents have full-time jobs

Source: Bureau of Statistic Read more SMH Paul Bibby

Migrant unemployment will be discussed at a Long Term Unemployment Conference http://longtermunemployment.org.au/