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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 285

Graduate Employment

(Question No. 627)

Mr Kelvin Thomson asked the Minister representingtheMinister for Employment, in writing, on 14 November 2014:

(1) In respect of the Deakin University's Centre for Research in Educational Futures and Innovation's report Australian international graduates and the transition to employment (September 2014), is he aware that the findings illustrate that (a) the overseas student program needs to be reviewed by the Australian Government to provide greater opportunity for Australian graduates to find work domestically, (b) the graduate labour market in Australia in the three disciplines of nursing, engineering and accounting is very competitive, (c) the proportion of bachelor degree graduates employed within four months of completing their courses has fallen to 71.3 per cent, the lowest figure in over 20 years, and what action will the Minister take to address this issue, (d) shortages for engineers eased significantly in 2012-13 and are now limited to petroleum and mining engineers, and (e) a slowdown in the mining industry, as well as manufacturing, and subdued activity in construction, are contributing to a weak labour market.(2) Does the Minister accept the report's findings that employment outcomes for graduate engineers have weakened in recent years with softer market conditions, resulting in graduates competing for work with experienced engineers, with BHP, Rio Tinto and AECOM cutting their graduate intakes.

Mr Pyne: The Minister for Employment has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) The Government notes research from a wide and varying range of sources, including Deakin University's Centre for Research in Educational Futures and Innovation.

2) Softer demand from mining and manufacturing has contributed to greater applicant competition for vacancies for engineers over the past two years. That's why the Coalition Government is focused on building a stronger and more prosperous economy so that employers, such as those mentioned, have an economic environment where they can employ and take on additional employees. That's why Labor's proposal to further slow down the mining industry through its mining tax would have been utterly disastrous for jobs.

It is noted that the Honourable Member opposed the repeal of the Carbon Tax, opposed the repeal of the Mining Tax and is opposed to the Government's Economic Action Strategy.