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Australia's skilled migration intake falls



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and Ethnic Affairs

MEDIA

the Leader on Multicultural Affairs

Embarao 2am Wednesday 13th July 1994 I M EA 27/94

Senator Jim Short

Shadow Minister for Immigration

AUSTRALIA'S SKILLED MIGRATION WAKE FALLS It appears that more Australians are voting with their feet, indicating a lack of confidence in the sustainability of the economic recovery. B1PR figures released today show that the number of permanent departures for the period July-

December 1993 are up 1.3% compared to the same period a year ago. More than one third of the permanent departures are intending to live in New Zealand, a country whose economic reform policies have been ridiculed by the Prime Minister,

Mr Keating, and the ALP.

The total net permanent gain in settlers for the six months, at 21,020, was 34 per cent down on the corresponding period of 1992-93. Although the proportion of those who entered Australia under the Family Migration Program (Preferential and Concessional) was up by 8 per cent, both it and the skilled program were down - on the previous year.

The drop in skilled migration reflects the fact that Australia no longer holds its former attraction as a desirable destination for skilled migrants, and that employment prospects remain bleak. If you separate out the Concessional family category, which is a defacto skilled category, the fall in skilled migration was even

larger.

Preferential family increased from 12,627 in July-December 1992 to 13,092 in July-December 1993. Skilled migration fell from 14,814 in the last half of 1992 to 6,386, and the (defacto skilled) concessional family category fell from 6,423 in the last half of 1992 to 4,370 for the same period in 1993. The proportion of non-skilled migrants went from 53.1 per cent in July-December 1992 to 68.9 per cent for the same period in 1993.

The two cuts in the points test pass mark for skilled migrants in recent months have been an attempt by the Government to bump up the skilled portion of the intake. They have the regrettable effect of lowering the overall standard of qualification/experience/ or English language ability of successful applicants. It is

ridiculous and damaging for the Government to seek to reach its arbitrary intake target in this way. COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY Melbourne MICAH 12 July 1994For further information, contact Senator Short on (03) 417 1499