Diane

Skilled Migration should be put on hold...

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    Interesting article on inDaily today - here is the link but not sure if it will work if you are not subscribed so have copied the article as well. http://indaily.com.au/opinion/2015/02/24/hold-skilled-migration-until-sa-economy-improves/

     

    Hold skilled migration until SA economy improves

    MALCOLM KING | 24 FEBRUARY 2015

     

    Is South Australia delivering on its promises to skilled migrants?

    COMMENT | Far from being the land of new opportunities touted by the State Government, new migrants are finding South Australia riven with high unemployment.

    More than 15,000 permanent migrants settle in South Australia every year, although not all stay. Over the past five years, 9,265 skilled migrants were successfully nominated by the State Government. Many also bring their families.

     

    We need a five-year moratorium on state-nominated migration as we’re creating a burgeoning underclass of migrants – a ‘precariat’ of marginalised unemployed and under employed contract workers. The term comes from Guy Standing’s book, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (2011), which examined the rise of an emerging class, characterised by inequality and job insecurity.

     

    According to the ABS, in January 2015 there were 54,442 unemployed South Australians (born in Australia) and another 15,651 unemployed people who were born overseas. While some of these may be long-term immigrants who have lost their jobs, the bulk of them arrived in the last five years.

    Half of Adelaide’s 16,000 jobless families live in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

     

    The state government nominates migrants if they have the skills and experience needed on the skilled occupation list. They must stay in SA for two years. Neither the skilled occupation list nor the graduate occupation list bears any resemblance to local employment potential. According to Commonwealth Department of Employment, some of these professions and trades are in serious decline.

     

    Why would a state government spin SA’s charms to people in England, India and China, when locals can’t get a job here? The answer is – money.

    In a broad-based and diverse modern economy, migrants pump cash into the state for rental accommodation, schools, food and utilities. They may take six months to a year to get a job and, when they do, they become ‘cash generators’. Migrants are a boon when the economy is going well for a raft of social and economic reasons.

     

    But in a dysfunctional old economy, this ‘cash cow’ soon dries up once the migrants realise crippling unemployment is endemic. They can’t access Newstart for two years, so they live frugally off their savings. They become the new poor – a disillusioned and disenfranchised ‘precariat’.

    That’s why you have Indian and Pakistani migrants with Masters degrees in IT and engineering working as taxi drivers, cleaners or in telemarketing. What a waste of human potential. The State Government is sentencing highly skilled workers and their families to penury, as we teeter precariously on the cusp of mass unemployment in South Australia.

     

    I’m strongly pro-migration but these are exceptional circumstances. It’s too easy to spin the state like this: ‘South Australia has plenty to offer migrants such as a low cost of living, a great climate, affordable housing and increased vibrancy in the city.’ That might be true if you want to replace your life with something as facile as a ‘lifestyle’. For the workers at Holden’s and its supply chain, Caroma, Bradken, ACI, Campbell Arnotts and thousands of other production workers, the future has little to do with lifestyle and everything to do with survival.

     

    When migrants research Adelaide, they find PR puff pieces on happy people drinking wine in the hills and dogs and children romping along a beach. The truth about the state’s most serious economic problems since the 1930s is buried by media spin. Two cycles are running through the SA economy. There’s the short-term economic cycle of falling mineral prices and tight retail spending. These come and go. But there is a far more serious structural mechanism at work. This is the stagnation and decline of the old manufacturing and construction economy with its allied professions and supply chains. This ‘unwinding’ of the old economy has far-reaching effects and it’s hitting the poor hardest.

     

    In a regressively deductive economic climate, migrants must not only battle a contracting economy, but also fight age prejudice, race prejudice, cronyism and nepotism in our recruitment industries. There are some jobs but they aren’t in the traditional blue-collar industries in the northern and western suburbs, where migrants predominantly settle. They’re in health and aged care.

     

    The ABS define being employed as working one hour a week. This is a dangerous sham. Few labour market specialists believe that SA’s unemployment rate is 6.9 per cent (trend) and that youth unemployment is 14.6 per cent. The real rate is closer to 12 per cent (trend) and rising. Real youth unemployment in Adelaide is above 30 per cent. Many people have stopped looking for a job and therefore don’t show up on the monthly unemployment statistics.

     

    Much of the job readiness training for migrants in Adelaide is useless, with limited vocational application. There are no measures to determine whether migrants actually get work after the training, or if they do, how long they stay employed. Migrants are paying thousands of dollars to undertake courses that play no intrinsic role in helping them find career specific jobs. As for older job seekers (migrant or non-migrant), they have been cast on scrap heap and will also join a growing disaffected precariat.

     

    We are also seeing the rise of right wing and anti-Islamist groups such as the Patriots Defence League, who opposed a mosque planned in Greenfields. Other groups attacked the Fleurieu Milk Company and Vili’s for pursuing Halal certification. Right wing and anti-migrant organisations gather like vultures around states that are doing it tough.

     

    The state is entering a phase of mass unemployment. Stop state-nominated migration now for five years and get new migrants jobs.

    Malcolm King is an Adelaide writer who works in generational change.

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    Interesting read.

     

    I must admit, I do boggle a bit when I read of primary teachers being still on the list (or it was recently IIRC) as I know a fair few who are all doing temp work, can't get a job with a permanent contract and are either on standby lists, short term or one year contracts that often can't or won't be renewed at the end. All of them are fully qualified, experienced teachers but there is a big over supply of teachers for places available it seems. Some schools would love to offer them a job but can't as no room in the budget or no job available, so its supply teaching a few days a week as and when. Hardly ideal.

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    He was on the radio yesterday and read out some of the occupations from the list supposedly in demand in SA ... some of them don't even exist here! (I suppose you could argue that's a sort of demand!)

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    LOL Yep, cane-frog catchers and crocodile wranglers I'm sure are on the list.... they're not? Well they bloomin' well should be - I've had terrible trouble finding one here in Adelaide!

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    Guest Husky

    Most of the teachers I know, who moved here, myself included, have been very disillusioned with teaching in the uk. They have retrained...most getting masters degrees and now have jobs outside the field of teaching, but with better pay and less stress. I know of teacher who are now managers, consultants, specialists in areas as varied as disability,IT and mining.

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    Yes, let's do away with generally younger, skilled workers with something to offer the economy and allow the state population to age further with no one capable of footing the growing cost.

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    LOL Yep, cane-frog catchers and crocodile wranglers I'm sure are on the list.... they're not? Well they bloomin' well should be - I've had terrible trouble finding one here in Adelaide!

    You have crocs in Adelaide :wideeyed:

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    Yes, let's do away with generally younger, skilled workers with something to offer the economy and allow the state population to age further with no one capable of footing the growing cost.

    Yes but we should be training the Australia youth to do these jobs. Instead they are left struggling and not even able to get work cleaning the gutters whilst migrants come in get a visa under their chosen occupation and then don't work in this, it's not always their fault I realise that, if there isn't the work that they were promised then they need to take any kind of job.

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    I know there are issues here, but after living here for nearly 3 years and without coming over here with buckets of cash - we now have a far larger house than in the UK in a lovely area, we get to romp on the beaches with the kids and dog, I have been in full employment within 3 weeks of arriving and have just recently moved into a new job, and I can watch the grapes for the wines growing from my veranda. Maybe we have just been blessed, lucky, whatever, but within three years Australia has offered us a quality of life that puts our previous life in the UK to shame. Okay, maybe it will all come crashing down but the state seems obsessed with talking itself into some sort of black hole.

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    I know there are issues here, but after living here for nearly 3 years and without coming over here with buckets of cash - we now have a far larger house than in the UK in a lovely area, we get to romp on the beaches with the kids and dog, I have been in full employment within 3 weeks of arriving and have just recently moved into a new job, and I can watch the grapes for the wines growing from my veranda. Maybe we have just been blessed, lucky, whatever, but within three years Australia has offered us a quality of life that puts our previous life in the UK to shame. Okay, maybe it will all come crashing down but the state seems obsessed with talking itself into some sort of black hole.

    I agree, since we came here our quality of life has been a lot better. We came 11 yrs ago and the economy here was a lot better then. I don't think it's just Adelaide who is getting the doom and gloom stories they seem to be all over Australia right now. In fact our local mayor has just put his business in to receivership so I'm hoping he realised how hard small businesses are doing.

    To lease a shop 4 streets back from the esplanade costs $175,000 a year, to lease one in the local shopping centre is $7,000 a week plus they take a percentage of your income. How on earth are small businesses suppose to survive.

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    Very interesting article.

     

    It's plain to see that the system needs tweaking! When I moved here I was on the MODL list but there weren't that many jobs. Added to that was the fact that other jobs were paying a better hourly rate than my nominated occupation and a slight sideways shift was more financially viable.

    I know so many people who move here and don't follow their occupations any more.

     

    Angus makes a very important point. The state needs younger people to support and drive the economy but it's a cop out if you can't get work when you make such a big move.

    As a percentage of the total number of new migrants who move to Australia, South Australia's is a small share.

     

    From my own family perspective it's all been good on the job front. My three children are all employed...one self employed, one working full time and the other full time / apprenticeship. They had no hope where we lived before.

     

    Hopefully the unemployment rate will drop but the demise of manufacturing makes things look bleak. I was in Perth earlier this month and they are going through some pain as well with the issues around mining. However, there are enormous housing developments being built, freeways expanded and an anticipated increase of 1 million people within the next 9 years.

     

    I don't have the economic answers but the annual Australian migrant intake underpins the entire economic expansion...houses, infrastructure, services etc and this generates employment.

     

    It's a fact that many new migrants do not settle and a number return to their homeland and it would be interesting to see the figures broken down from country to country to see who makes it and who leaves. It's also a fact that many migrants do settle for good, but when the economy wobbles the grass is always greener. I have had family members "ping pong" a couple of times but they have so much work at the moment that they are turning jobs down. I also see many people who start out in the wrong location, with the wrong attitude, wrong mindset and wrong selection of whingeing friends and they get swept away with the negativity of what's a difficult transition.

     

    It's good to debate things though...let other see what they may be faced with.

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    Yes, let's do away with generally younger, skilled workers with something to offer the economy

     

     

    We have soooo many kids wanting to be those 'younger, skilled workers' plus graduates that dream of practising whatever they've taken the years qualifying for.

     

    Surely it is foolish to bring in more people if there are fewer jobs?

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    This article is mirrored in 100 % the discussion we had in the past here in this forum! A great article by the way.

     

    All aspects are true besides the unpredictable course of life with good luck + bad luck, Adelaide is the right place to the right time for many migrants who actually could settle her successfully and vice versa for migrants who couldn't (not yet). When things fall into place everything is good but the opposite makes it hard for some migrants to be lured here with jobs in 'demand' which actually don't exist and nobody ever heard about it in SA (sometimes I wonder how much fantasy the state government has)

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    I say it every time when an immigration thread comes up - they need to make sure that people coming realise that the skills shortages maybe in remote parts of SA not just Adelaide; I'm sure there's a need for school teachers around on the peninsulas or up in the north of the state but that's too far removed from most people's idea of coming to Australia (ours included - we toyed with the idea of a complete re-invention but decided it wasn't fair on the children).

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    The benefits of general migration, for both the migrant and the receiving country, aren't at issue. The point the author argues is that the state sponsorship aspect of migration should be halted until the economy picks up. Personally, I don't think it should, but the massive deception that's attached to it - no less than a rort - certainly should stop, and not temporarily. That deception is that there are job shortages in all those categories, where the reality is vastly different.

     

    Unfortunately, the article is rather clumsy and has the typical spin of InDaily - Malcolm King gave a better account of this on the radio.

     

    Of course some people voluntarily move into different careers than what they were sponsored for, but to suggest that's what the average migrant intends to do at the time of applying is nonsense. Many simply have no choice because they can't get an opening in their chosen field. For many others, they weren't aware that the skills and qualifications they'd had assessed would count for little when they arrived, and this coupled with the lack of vacancies mean they might as well retrain in a different field as retrain in their own occupation. Also, if migrants are being sponsored by the state to fill jobs in demand and the migrant could get a job in that field but decides to drive a taxi or clean windows instead, then that isn't tackling in any way the skills shortage and makes a mockery of state sponsorship.

     

    This state owes more money than when the state bank collapsed. It hasn't yet started to pay back the cost of some of its biggest infrastructure projects - such as the new hospital, the repayments of which don't begin until next year. Financially it's on the bones of its arse. No doubt it will eventually find away out of the mess, but in the meantime it's skint. Migrants bring in cash, help to stimulate the economy and lessen the effects of the ageing population; the likelihood of the state government doing anything to reduce migrants by coming clean on the 'skills shortage' is so small it's laughable.

     

    The problem is, many migrants don't stay here because they can't get work (or even where they can, the rhetoric in glossy brochures and slick ads isn't matched by the reality - last year Westpac reported that only a quarter of migrants earn above the average wage - given that most are here via the 'skilled' route, this isn't a good stat) and the state government doesn't feel the frustration and heartache of those broken dreams. It isn't the state government that spends all its cash uprooting families from one end of the world to the other on a false promise.

     

    Most of us on this site have it relatively good, so to trot out our personal victories might be praiseworthy (though occasionally it seems no better than an exercise in ego massaging) but it's not representative; most migrants these days aren't from the UK. For many, they aren't entering a place with a culture very similar to what they've left behind only with better weather and a more parochial attitude. They're coming to a very different landscape, often where they've passed an English test but with spoken and written English that stands out as awkward. In a time of genuine skills shortages, having no local knowledge or experience and an 'interesting' English dialect might not put a migrant at a major disadvantage, but in the present climate, with many applicants for each vacancy, such things do. For many of these migrants moving here is a very big throw of the dice with everything riding on it - the 'if you don't like it you can always go back' attitude might well not be an option - and it's only fair that the process doesn't falsely raise expectations.

     

    For some migrants, it was always the intention to come here and then move on elsewhere (although if state sponsored this again doesn't help tackle skills shortages) but the high number of migrants who leave SA to try their luck in other states suggests this place isn't matching expectations. In that regard, state sponsorship is failing the migrant and failing those who are already here and struggling to find work. Getting migrants here under false pretences also damages the SA brand long term, because the reality eventually finds its way back to originating countries - not that anyone in state gov politics is bothered about the long term.

    Edited by jim and adel

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    Some people make it work despite some setbacks. Make sure that you have the finance to be able to support yourself for a while and be prepared to do any job to bring in dollars before your ideal job pops up. Having some contacts really helps and that was so true for us. I was introduced to someone and had a job in no time. I have plenty of mates in the north and theres some real poverty out there with things folding. Trades wise im cruising along with lots of work. There are lots of Chinese and Indian people replacing the traditional Brit migrant and its tough for many families who were promised the land of plenty. I think that limiting or banning new migrants will kill the local economy and think that numbers should be increased. The gov needs to target the areas of shortages though.

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    I came her as a toolmaker, and have not been employed in that job description for many years now, or held many jobs under that description tbh.

     

    And whys that?

     

    Well the reason being is due to doors getting closed and the only open door being open is the one which is a job and the one that puts food on the table, pays the bills, keeps my family happy.

     

    I will do whatever it takes to earn a living, working in the mines provides a great income and a great lifestyle but sh7t I miss some of the most important times in my families and close friends lives.

     

    Skilled migration has to stay open as peoplednt always go into their chosen roles,maybe the Gvnmt should monitor it a bit more.

     

    HG

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    We have soooo many kids wanting to be those 'younger, skilled workers' plus graduates that dream of practising whatever they've taken the years qualifying for.

     

    Surely it is foolish to bring in more people if there are fewer jobs?

     

     

    It's funny how that when the economy starts to turn people always blame migrants (who often to offer more to the economy than an average citizen). It's lazy Daily Mail thinking with no real basis in reality.

     

    "Coming in here taking our youths jobs", it's a nonsense. If youths are skilled enough and train enough they will land work - I know plenty of young Ozzies landing jobs in skilled fields.

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    It's funny how that when the economy starts to turn people always blame migrants (who often to offer more to the economy than an average citizen). It's lazy Daily Mail thinking with no real basis in reality.

     

    "Coming in here taking our youths jobs", it's a nonsense. If youths are skilled enough and train enough they will land work - I know plenty of young Ozzies landing jobs in skilled fields.

     

    I think the point is though that when you have lots of skilled migrants and locals competing for few jobs available no one is prepared to train the young people at anything. When you have a situation where you have large amounts of unemployment bringing more people in to the area is not going to help anyone, including the migrants.

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    I think the point is though that when you have lots of skilled migrants and locals competing for few jobs available no one is prepared to train the young people at anything. When you have a situation where you have large amounts of unemployment bringing more people in to the area is not going to help anyone, including the migrants.

     

     

    You have to think longer term. UK unemployment was at 8.4% in 2012 - more than 1.3% above where SA is now. They didn't stopped skilled migration - or even cut general migration. The unemployment rate is now 5.4% - I think SA needs more young potential taxpayers who are educated at a high standard and have a lot to offer the economy in terms of skills and innovation.

     

    Also, as a side issue; the amount of money these guys have paid into the system even before arriving is considerable.

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    You have to think longer term. UK unemployment was at 8.4% in 2012 - more than 1.3% above where SA is now. They didn't stopped skilled migration - or even cut general migration. The unemployment rate is now 5.4% - I think SA needs more young potential taxpayers who are educated at a high standard and have a lot to offer the economy in terms of skills and innovation.

     

    Also, as a side issue; the amount of money these guys have paid into the system even before arriving is considerable.

     

    The amount of money Australian students have to pay into the system to get qualified with less and less chance of a job at the end is also quite considerable...even more so if Pyne & Abbott have their way...

     

    The article as I read it isn't about whether it is hard for migrants to get a job... so whilst it's wonderful for those who come out here and are lucky enough to find something in a short time... the issue is if there are not enough jobs for those people already here (and as I said in a previous thread, it's not just the main applicant of a migrating family that is looking to work, but often their partner and then in a few years their offspring), then is it morally right to import skilled workers rather than train locals in those skills? I have heard that graduating nurses here are struggling to find work these days, and whilst obviously experience (especially in nursing) is high up there in terms of a skill a migrant has over a newly qualified local, what kind of a future does that offer to both native Australian kids who want to work hard but are not offered the chance, and to the kids of migrants who will in turn be looking to contribute to society and be self-supporting?

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    I can see that this is a very emotional issue.

     

    Australia is a country that relies upon skilled migrants to expand it's economy. Does anyone know whether numbers were curtailed or placed on hold during periods of economic downturn in the past? I grew up during the turbulent period in the UK...labour government and the Thatcher era in the early 80's but being a recent arrival in Australia (8 years) my knowledge of recession and economic hardship in previous years in Australia is somewhat lacking.

     

    Does anyone have any other info around the State Bank collapse of 1992 and whether we are still suffering from its effects today?

     

    We had the mining boom and the stimulus package to ride us through the recent global crisis. Is this a blip (although a painful one if it's affecting you) that we will be through shortly? I wonder.

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    You have to think longer term. UK unemployment was at 8.4% in 2012 - more than 1.3% above where SA is now. They didn't stopped skilled migration - or even cut general migration. The unemployment rate is now 5.4% - I think SA needs more young potential taxpayers who are educated at a high standard and have a lot to offer the economy in terms of skills and innovation.

     

    Also, as a side issue; the amount of money these guys have paid into the system even before arriving is considerable.

     

    SA already has a stream of young potential taxpayers who are educated at a high standard who are struggling to get jobs at the moment. Why would it help bringing any more in? There are three Universities in the state that are continually churning out graduates and post graduate qualified young people who can't all find work. What we need is attract more large businesses to the state, either head offices, or more preferably the research and development departments. We need to find a way to attract more manufacturing and processing type work. And we need to bring more money in to the state by attracting more tourists and other visitors. You can't grow an economy simply by throwing more people at it.

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    It's funny how that when the economy starts to turn people always blame migrants (who often to offer more to the economy than an average citizen). It's lazy Daily Mail thinking with no real basis in reality.

     

    "Coming in here taking our youths jobs", it's a nonsense. If youths are skilled enough and train enough they will land work - I know plenty of young Ozzies landing jobs in skilled fields.

     

    Where did I "blame migrants"?

     

    Who were you quoting, because it certainly wasn't me.

     

    I actually feel quite offended that you would link my post to your rant.

     

    FWIW, I don't read the Daily Mail, and as a migrant could also have stupid people claiming I'd come, " in here taking our ....jobs"

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