More Migrants Are Finding Jobs

20:07' 03-11-2017
A study released recently by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), tracking the settlement experiences of a group of newly arrived humanitarian migrants, shows a steady increase in the numbers moving into paid employment.

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    According to the study, “Building a New Life in Australia”, employment rates have increased four-fold in a significant proportion of the migrant families.

    Anne Hollonds, AIFS Director, said that two-and-a-half years after arriving in Australia, 23% of the migrants had gone into employment, up from 6% when they had been here for less than 6 months.

    Ms Hollonds said the employment rate for men was higher than for women, with 36% of men in work, compared to 8% of women. She also said that gaining employment was easier for those with higher levels of education and well-developed English skills.

    “Most of those in paid employment were in relatively unskilled occupations, like labouring,” she noted. A “sizeable proportion” had technical, managerial or professional jobs in their home country, but had not been able to fully utilise these skills in Australia.

    AIFS Research Fellow John De Maio said the ongoing study follows the lives of a group of almost 2,400 immigrants, in all states and territories except the ACT, to record their experiences of resettlement. He said the study shows that the more time spent in Australia, the higher the likelihood that their English has improved and that they have secured paid work.

    “Nearly 90% of migrants have now undertaken language classes since arrival,” Mr De Maio said. Some 28% had taken another type of educational course. “Before arriving in Australia, almost 37% of these migrants could not understand English at all. Now, fewer than 11% of migrants are in that category.”

    Mr De Maio believes there is a need for “well-targeted programs to maximise migrants’ skills to secure their economic self-sufficiency and to help boost Australia’s overall economic productivity”.

    Bun C

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Keywords: australian institute of family studiesenglish skillsmigrants

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