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Skilled migrants more likely to find work.

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Media Release


The Hon. Philip Ruddock MP

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs


MPS 58/98




Survey results released today by the Minister for immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock, show that Independent skilled migrants have an employment rate of 95 per cent within three years of arriving in Australia.


“This compares with an employment rate of just 35 per cent for migrants entering under the Parent category,” the Minister said.


Preliminary data from the third wave of interviews for the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia (LSIA) shows that three years after arrival Independent skilled migrants:


* have a labour force participation rate of more than 90 per cent and an unemp loyment rate of about 5 per cent;

* have an average income of more than $40,000 per annum; and

* approximately 85 per cent of Independent migrants who were employed in professional occupations before migrating are employed in professional or managerial pos itions after arrival in Australia.


“These are impressive results that will be further improved by changes the Government has already made to the Skilled Migration program and further refinements that will result from the review of the Independent and Skil led-Australian Linked categories,” Mr Ruddock said.


“These results highlight the value of the Government’s decision to shift the focus of the Migration Program more to the skilled stream.”


“They also support the findings of the recently released Econtech report which dearly demonstrates the economic benefits that accrue to Australia from a more skilled Migration Program”.


By contrast, the preliminary LSIA data shows that migrants entering under the Parent category have a labour force participation rate of about 20 per cent. an unemployment rate of more than 60 per cent, and an average income of just $10,000 per annum.


“This labour market performance and the relatively short working lives they will have in Australia means that migrants entering in the Parent category will rarely be able to make an economic contribution sufficient to cover the health and other social support costs that they will incur.


“This is a particularly important issue given the ageing of Australia’s population and is why the Government has taken steps to limit entry in the Parent category and to ensure that Parent sponsors meet a fairer share of the costs involved,” Mr Ruddock said.


Independent skilled migrants are the largest component of the skilled stream.




Tuesday, 2 June 1998


Media inquiries: Brad Robinson (02) 6277 7860 0419 278 715