Qualifications should be recognised before skilled visas are issued
Too many migrants are finding themselves stranded unable to get jobs they are led to believe they are qualified for in Australia. According to Sustainable Population Australia (SPA), they shouldn’t have been given skilled migrant visas in the first place.
According to a recent report, only a third of permanent arrivals in Australia have had their post-school qualifications recognised. Achieving recognition is costly, bureaucratic and time-consuming, meaning many migrants never achieve it.
SPA national president, Ms Jenny Goldie, says with migration pushing 400,000 this year, it is ridiculous to think the wait times will come down.
“The Australian government is callously mistreating these migrants by enticing them to come to Australia with false expectations of the demand for their skills and their access to those jobs,” says Ms Goldie.
“SPA advocates that all skilled migrants should be initially employer-sponsored, ensuring their qualifications are pre-approved and that they have a decent job to go to,” she says.
“Australia needs to reserve the right to check and validate a migrant’s qualifications, to ensure it meets Australia’s high standards.
“The best option would be for the government to make the process of accrediting or refusing foreign qualifications quicker, easier and cheaper for migrants and their prospective employer to undertake together, prior to the migrant being granted a visa and leaving their home country. In that way, qualifications that Australia won’t recognise would simply not lead to skilled migrant visas, contrary to what happens now.
“We now have the absurd situation where many landed migrants face long waits while prospective Indian migrants have carte blanche qualifications recognition. How is that fair?”
Ms Goldie says all migrants generate additional demand for skilled services.
“If they are not actually working in an area of skills shortage, they are exacerbating skills shortages. After 17 years of accelerated skilled migration to Australia, the claims of skills shortages are worse than ever. It is a case of dog chasing its own tail.
“The migration system is not designed to fill skills gaps, it is designed to get people through the door, to satisfy powerful vested interests who control government policy. This includes property developers, the largest donors to political parties, seeking to force land rezoning, and large employers who benefit from suppressing wages.
“Treasury wants an increase in GDP, with apparently no interest in GDP per capita – that is, no interest in whether it makes Australians better off or worse off. We now face technical and/or headline recession, which hurts the poor and not the rich.
“Nor does Treasury care about saddling State governments with massive debts to build the extra infrastructure. Taking on more debt to build infrastructure we would otherwise not have needed is, after all, good for GDP. This is the sort of perverse thinking that has driven us into a housing crisis, worsening ambulance ramping at over-stretched hospitals and accelerating environmental impacts.
“SPA believes much lower levels of immigration would still allow genuine skills gaps to be filled, while giving migrants a much better experience establishing themselves in Australia. Net migration levels should be between 60,000 and 80,000 to allow Australia’s population to stabilise. This would return us to the average of the post-war decades, in contrast to the insane levels we have seen since 2005, stifling wage and productivity growth while inexorably worsening the housing crisis.
“It’s time to blow the whistle on this game of deceiving the Australian public about the benefits of rapid migration, which is only making the locals poorer and the skills shortages worse.”