Western Australia immigrants not finding suitable employment

Over half of skilled immigrants who live in Western Australia are doing lower skilled work now than they were before they moved to the country.

According to a survey carried out by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, 53 per cent of migrants said they had lower-skilled jobs than before they arrived. However, more than 60 per cent reported finding their occupation meaningful.

The study unearthed numerous examples of so-called “skills wastage”, including a vocational schoolteacher working as cleaner, a geologist employed in aged care and a mechanical engineer who took a job as a security guard.

“Australia has a long history of using migrants to fill skills gaps and labour shortages, but those skilled migrants face a range of barriers to both gaining employment and working in jobs that are in line with their qualifications and experience,” said Curtin University academic Jaya Dantas.

In recent years there has been a significant brain drain of skilled professionals leaving Western Australia to pursue employment in other parts of Oz.

This has also led to a huge slowdown in the number of immigrants choosing to move to the state.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show a massive decline in net overseas migration into WA — from 52,000 a year in 2013 to just 12,000 currently.

Until as recently as five years ago, the capital of Western Australia, Perth, had been the number one emigration destination for British immigrants.

Article published 22nd November 2017