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New migrants entering the workforce faster.

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New Migrants Entering the Workforce Faster

New migrants are entering the labour force faster and in greater numbers than earlier migrants, Minister for Immigration, Amanda Vanstone, said today.

‘The information is gleaned from the latest longitudinal survey of new migrants, conducted on behalf of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs,’ the Minister said.

‘This means that new migrants’ contribution to Australia ’s economic wellbeing is also increasing.

‘New migrants are finding jobs more quickly, and this is boosting revenue and productivity. The preliminary data will be discussed at a symposium on skilled migration at Parliament House on Monday.

‘For example, 93 percent of business and employer sponsored migrants* were working within six months compared to 82 per cent in the first survey in 1993-94. 82% of skilled independent migrants were working within six months compared to 65 per cent in 1993-94. Employment rates for family reunion migrants (mainly spouses) also increased significantly, from 31 per cent in 1993-94 to 60 per cent in the latest survey. (The attached chart illustrates the level of improvement achieved by recent migrants compared with earlier arrivals.)

‘It is critical that we attract migrants who are willing and able to enter the labour force quickly, to ensure they are helping build Australia ’s economy. This research indicates that we are heading in the right direction.’

The Minister said the latest survey data was being analysed by Professor Sue Richardson, from the National Institute of Labour Studies at Flinders University , as part of a wider evaluation of Australia’s general skilled migration program.

‘I look forward to considering the conclusions of this evaluation’, the Minister said.

‘On first analysis, the particular success of employer and state sponsored migrants in this survey seems to endorse the importance of such migrants.

‘While former overseas students are also achieving good employment rates, there are signs that they may not all be finding jobs commensurate to their skills and training. I will be considering ways we can help these young people achieve better outcomes, in the context of the current evaluation, the Minister said.

‘In today’s economy, very good communication skills are essential. We will therefore also be examining carefully the links in this survey data between English language levels and the ability of skilled migrants to find skilled work.’

* All references are to principal applicants ie not including dependent family members.


1. Former Overseas Student category introduced in 2001 2. LSIA 1 1993-94 LSIA 2 1999-00 LSIA 3 2004-05 3. Dip between LSIA 1 and LSIA 2 in Business Skills/ENS due largely to change in composition. At LSIA 1 low numbers of Business Skills (program relatively new) - these numbers increased significantly by LSIA 2 causing worse employment outcomes because of poor

performance of Business Skills migrants. Program was reformed between LSIA 2 and LSIA 3.

Third longitudinal survey of immigrants to Australia

Key initial findings

Overall 94% of migrants surveyed said that they were made to feel welcome in Australia. This result was reflected across all major visa categories.

Proportion of primary applicants saying they were made to feel welcome in Australia

Business Family Independent Former Overseas Student Concessional Family / SAL

Proportion made to feel welcome 96% 96% 90% 90% 94%

Participation rates of recent skilled migrants are very high, compared with skilled migrants who came to Australia in 1993-94 and 1999-00.

Participation Rates at Wave 1: Primary Applicants


Family 49% 54% 70%

Concessional Family / SAL 80% 88% 92% Business Skills / ENS 84% 65% 91% Independent 88% 89% 95%

The better a skilled migrant speaks English:

● the lower their unemployment rate

● the higher their participation rate

● the greater their chances of finding a skilled job

Work Outcomes - Former Overseas Students and Offshore Independents

How well English spoken

Not well Well Very well / native speaker

Unemployment rate 41% 19% 9%

Participation rate 87% 94% 96%

Likelihood of using their skills in a job 41% 41% 61%

The ability to find a skilled job may also be related to skilled work experience. Former overseas students without this experience are finding it more difficult to find skilled work than experienced skilled independent migrants.

Likelihood of using their skills often in job

Offshore Independents 65% Former Overseas Students 47%

5 November 2005

URL: /media_releases/media05/v05148.htm Last update: 07 November 2005 at 12:11 AEST