Australian migration & job policy underutilizing migrants’ skills

Australian migration and job policy are underutilizing migrants’ skills in spite of the fact that its immigration system attracts 1000s of skilled migrants. This could be an issue arising out of inadequate coordination between the Australian migration system and its employment policies.

The immigration system is dedicated to providing migrants for the skill shortages in labor market. However, the employment policies give less focus to optimum utilization of the skilled immigrants. Thus there can be a situation wherein qualified immigrants are unable to fill positions with skill shortages. This occurs frequently and one reason could be lack of appropriate Australian experience.

The issue of mismatching of skills and labor affects the immigrants as well the Australian society that employs them. The existing system is leading to a mismatch between skills needed by the employers and those available in the market. Addressing this issue necessitates closer synchronization of employment policies and immigration. The existing system, however, fails to address this issue, as quoted by The Conversation.

Harmonizing the immigration and employment policies of Australia could minimize underutilization of immigrants’ skills. Data regarding job outcomes of fresh immigrants must be assessed for skill shortages detected by employers. This must be done through a joint task force of employment and immigration department.

Utilizing this data, immigration and employment policies of Australia must include targets for skills of immigrants. This will rebalance the existing focus of both employment and immigration policies. It will ensure that Australia makes optimum utilization of its skilled immigrants. Australia also vies at the global level to attract highly skilled immigrants and thus their skills must not be wasted.

Thus, immigration policy in itself is not solely responsible for labor market outcomes for immigrants. Enhanced coordination between employment and immigration policies is required for maximum utilization of skilled immigrants. This will also enhance their productivity.

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Anshul Singhal

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