Quizzically Musing

Watching the madness

Posts Tagged ‘Immigration

Skilled Migration, Local Experience

with 19 comments

Australia recently revamped our General Skilled Migration programme.  Some occupations disappeared off the lists, some were redefined, new ones appeared.

There are several lists, these two seem to be the current ones!



It works like this.  People apply to come to Australia on the basis of their qualifications in a trade or profession that we are short of.  Sounds reasonable.  It can take them up to three years to actually get through the visa application process.   There seem to be some strange regulations, such as if they are single when they apply, they must stay single until they enter Australia, so effectively we have put their lives on hold.

The biggest problem is once they get here, employers won’t give them a job, because they have “no local experience“.  Here is another interesting article in The Australian about no local experience.  The skilled migration programme doesn’t actually find jobs for these people, they are on their own.

So here is the situation in a nutshell.  Government runs the migration programme based on analysed demand for certain skills.  Employers, who presumably need these skills, then won’t employ the very people who come here on the basis their skills are needed.

This is nothing short of ridiculous.  We have highly qualified psychologists and chemists driving taxis.  A personal friend of mine arrived with a Master’s degree and ended up being a credit controller for a few years. 

When I arrived in Australia, I had no local experience either, yet I had a job the same day I decided to stay here.  That was back in 1974.  Things were different then.  Also, I didn’t have too much of an accent, I looked “the same” and my culture wasn’t that dramatically different and I didn’t need a visa.  I just stayed.  I was allowed.

Even those who were initially migrants themselves seem reluctant to hire newer migrants. 

Get over it!  At the moment it is like we are bringing people here under false pretences.  They apply for migration on the basis we, as a country, have said we need people in their occupation.  They get here and we won’t hire them? 

Give people a chance.  It isn’t just the skilled migrants.  Humanitarian visa people fair even worse.  They find it even harder to become employed: often their English may not be as proficient as a skilled migrant for instance, or they do not have the education a skilled migrant has.  So we won’t give them a job, then the rank and file “aussies” complain they are draining the public purse.  NOT BY CHOICE, I can assure you.

Employers, take your blinkers off.  Give these people a chance.  Implement a longer trial period if you like, but stop using “no local experience” as an excuse.  They have to get some, what makes you so precious as a company that you have to wait until someone else gives them local experience?

Ronald MacDonald, gumboots and broccoli have nothing in common, yet all three are part of life in Australia.  So are our migrants: many of US are migrants.  We arrived with no local experience either.

I would like to see the government more strongly encourage employers to stop using this “no local experience” discrimination.  For it is a form of discrimination. 

Have you rejected a migrant for a job lately?  Did you use no local experience as a reason?  Why?


Written by Robyn Dunphy

May 14, 2011 at 7:52 am

No news coverage?

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I stumbled across a bit of legislation yesterday which I haven’t noticed any media coverage of.  When I looked, I managed to find one article, telling me the amendment passed the lower house in May. This surprises me, because the legislation in question gives quite amazing powers to the Minister of the department.  The then minister, Chris Evans, gives assurances in the artcle that he would use the powers judiciously.  He might – what of his successors? Who knows?

Admittedly, this particular department is rather close to my heart at the moment, but what worries me about this is the precedent it sets.  One minute we give such powers to one minister and the next will be?  The Tax Man, perhaps?  The Health Minister?

The actual wording of the amendment also worries me.  Thankfully Protection Visas seem to be excluded from the worst of the provisions, however it would seem that Partner Visas and Family Sponsored visas are not.  I find this totally unacceptable.

Then there is the power for the minister to simply cancel applications.  The effect will be as if the application was never made.  I take this to mean that people can apply under prevailing conditions in good faith, then simply be told, “Sorry, you actually never applied”. 

To start thinking about what other legislation such an approach could be applied to is frightening. 

Where was the media when this was originally being read in the lower house?  Why was there not more coverage? 

1984, here we come.

Yes, we have to manage immigration.  After all, this wide brown land is mostly desert.  It is big, but vast tracts are not exactly inhabitable.  It isn’t managing immigration that bothers me here – it is managing our politicians and how much unfettered power we allow them.

Edit December 5th: It appears the passage of  this piece of legislation got derailed due to the election.  It is hopeful that it is will stay derailed.  However, that does not change my underlying concerns.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

December 4, 2010 at 8:06 am