Newly-arrived skilled migrants not finding professional jobs: New report

The report, Australia’s Skilled Migration Program: Scarce Skills Not Required by Bob Birrell states many occupations like accounting and engineering on the Skilled Occupations Lists are in over supply.

Disappointed migrant

Source: Pixabay

Bhavesh Patel*, a mechanical engineer from Ahmedabad has applied for numerous jobs and appeared for three interviews since arriving in Melbourne a year ago.

He is yet to find a job in his field and is currently working at a 7-Eleven store to make ends meet.

Mr Patel is one of the many recently-arrived migrants who have not found a professional job in Australia according to a new report by Australian Population Research Institute (APRI).

The report, by Bob Birrell states many occupations like accounting and engineering on the Skilled Occupations Lists are in over supply and therefore most recently arrived skilled migrants to Australia have not found professional jobs.

The study states the Skilled Occupations List includes “numerous professions that the government’s own Department of Employment has judged to be oversupplied, including accounting and engineering.

“As a consequence, most recently arrived skilled migrants cannot find professional jobs.”

The report concludes the Skill Stream program is deeply flawed and Australia’s employers would hardly notice if it was abolished.
Australia’s current annual migration program is set at 190,000, including 128,550 skilled places.

According to 2016 Census, 256,504 migrant graduates aged 25-34 came to Australia, with 84% them from non-­English-speaking-countries.

India is Australia's biggest source of skilled and family migrants, from the federal government. 

Over 20% of migrants in 2016-17 came from India. 38.854 visas were granted to Indians in 2016-17 making it the biggest pool of skilled migrants and those granted family visas.

The report said job applicants with good English skills and better “cultural awareness” had an advantage.

Naishadh Gadani, a career coach who works with migrants in Australia says a mechanism to bridge the gap between skilled jobseekers and employers is missing in Australia.

“Migrants need guidance and support while looking for jobs in Australia. They may have the skills but are not aware about the company’s work culture and the significance to fit in when appearing for interviews. There’s a basic lack of support,” Mr Gadani says.

He advises migrants looking for professional jobs in Australia should make an effort to connect with people of their industry to get a foot in.

“Networking is very important to learn about the work culture here and how things work in Australia.”

Career Coach Naishadh Gadani’s four tips to find work in line with your qualifications in Australia:

  1. Learn and understand Australian work culture
  2. Identify your transferable skills to find occupation relevant to your skills than take up a low-skilled jobs
  3. Network. Make as many local connections as possible.
  4. Volunteer. It is a good first step to experience Australian work culture.
Are you a skilled migrant struggling to find a professional job? Write to us at

*Name changed to protect his identity.

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3 min read
Published 13 March 2018 at 3:57pm
By Mosiqi Acharya