Skilled migrants from Indian subcontinent are often unable to find a job in their own field because they do not have any local or Australian experience.

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28 SEP 2016 – 10:01AM

Why do Australian employers want local experience from skilled migrants?


Amit Sarwal

Published on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 – 10:00:

One of the most confusing aspects for migrant job seeker is to know what skills and attributes an Australian employer is looking for.

Skilled migrants from various Indian subcontinent countries are often unable to find a job in their field in Australia.

The problem worsens in case of migrants with levels of high education – PhDs and specialised Masters degrees – because they do not have any “Australian experience.”

This causes a salary difference between people with same skills and qualification in an organisation, as a skilled migrant starts at a low salary level because h/she does not have the “Australian experience.”

Most companies do not employ migrants, believing that they are not familiar with rules or regulations of the Australia.

In addition, this can also mean that the recruiter has no idea about the work you have done, or and its relevance in Australia.

Usman W. Chouhan says this added hurdle has no valid reason or grounding as in most cases skilled migrants coming to Australia from South Asian countries have better education (such as in management and IT) and MNC work experience (from US, UK, Asian and European companies).

Usman feels that apart from employers this is a grave situation and policymakers who cannot take this situation lightly in Australia.

“This causes millions of dollars economic loss without any valid reason and also visibly impacts national economic productivity,” adds Usman.

Usman says that the problem is in the consultation and implementation of policy framework in both Australia and Canada.

To know more about why employers ask for Australian experience from skilled migrants and its effects on the Australian economy and migrants, listen to Amit Sarwal’s conversation with Usman W. Chohan, an expert on economic policy reforms at UNSW (Canberra).

Sep 2016



5 key details about the New Temporary Parent Visa

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Private health insurance, financial backing required from children. Take a look at other details.

Australian Government on Friday morning announced that they were kick starting community consultations on developing the legislation for a new five-year temporary sponsored parent visa.

The Indian community in Australia who have campaigned for this over a year and are keenly watching the developments are widely sharing this new development within the community.

Here are the 5 key points of the new temporary parent visa

  1. Parents of immigrants in Australia will have to get private health insurance. They will also have to show financial backing from their children to be able to access this new visa. These new requirements aim to protect health system from extra costs.
  2. This new visa will be in place by July 2017
  3. This visa will be available to parents of Australian citizens, permanent residents and eligible NZ citizens
  4. Visa fees have not yet been revealed but Minister Hawke said it will be ‘more affordable than current arrangements.’
  5. Community will be consulted and community leaders have been invited to make submissions about the policy’s features and submit it on [email protected] by midnight, Monday 31st October 2016.

Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke told reporters in Sydney today that the aim is not to burden the taxpayers.

“If we are to have more aged parents who have come from overseas here with us visiting or staying, we have to ensure that our already overburdened health system is protected from extra cost,” he said.






International students in Australia struggle on many fronts

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By Celia Hung for SMH:

“Is Australia still the land of opportunity for international students?

We choose to study in Australia because of its world-leading education system. As international students, we hope a good education will lead us to better job opportunities, even though we pay almost double the tuition of local students to get the same degree.


The ‘separation’ of international and local students

International and local students at Sydney University give their perspective on how hard it can be to bridge the gaps of culture and language.

I do not like to agree with some international students who think the Australian government treats us as a “cash machine”.

However, I find it hard to argue against this considering my situation.

International students are often isolated in Australia.
International students are often isolated in Australia. Photo: Louise Kennerley

I recently obtained my master’s degree in journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney. I got a full-time job offer from a well-known Chinese-Australian newspaper, but I needed a Temporary Student Visa to take this job.

Unfortunately, after spending $1600 on a non-refundable visa fee, and waiting a month, my visa application was not successful, because my master’s degree was not a “two-year program”.

I believe my master’s degree is equivalent to any other two-year master’s degree in engineering or business. Does this mean that if an international student is enrolled in any program that meets the “two academic year” requirement regardless of the institution that they will be more eligible for a visa?

A few of my friends whose master’s programs were also under two years bit their lips and enrolled in an “immigration major” such as accounting or IT. Whether or not they enjoy the program, they have to pay at least $22,000 for the second degree.

Author Cecily Huang
Author Cecily Huang Photo: supplied

An “immigration major” is the only way we can get a chance to apply for a job in Australia.

I cannot afford another degree, but more importantly, I will not force myself to study something that I have no interest in. Since my visa application was not successful, I could not accept the job and had to leave Australia within a month.

The visa situation blocks new graduates from job opportunities. I suggest universities consider alternating the length of the program or provide other optional programs to fill the gap.

Universities should provide more assistance for international students on the visa application process.

My student visa expired before my graduation. Since I wanted to attend my graduation ceremony, which is usually held six months after course completion, I had to apply for a visitor visa, which cost me in total $600, including a required health check.

I do not understand why my student visa cannot last until my graduation. Otherwise, could universities hold graduation ceremonies a bit earlier?

During my stay in Australia, I found that international students are easily isolated. Australian students are friendly, but it is hard to be accepted in their communities, even if we make great efforts.

In America or China, students usually go to universities outside of the cities they live in. They have to be open-minded and make efforts to meet new friends. However, most Australian students go to local universities with friends whom they grew up with, so it is not necessary to make an extra effort to find new friends.

International students are also vulnerable to exploitation in the labour market, just as we’ve seen with the 7-Eleven workers .

When international students arrive in Australia, they are shocked by the high living costs. They do not get a student discount on public transport like local students. It’s normal for them to look for casual work – but they lack local experience – and almost every job requires this.

Desperate for a job and needing to pay the bills, they take whatever they can get, thinking that a little is better than nothing.

When I arrived in Sydney, a friend introduced me to a job working at a fried chicken wing restaurant in Chinatown that paid $8 an hour. I was tempted, even if I was shocked by the low rate.

But I ended up working for an Italian restaurant for $16 an hour because I speak better English and I am a fast learner.

Over the past 10 years, 500,000 international students have chosen to come to Australia and made significant contributions to prosperity and cultural exchange.  If an expensive education cannot lead them to future opportunities, the international students might go to other countries instead.

Cecily Huang is a journalist and former international student.”

Sep 2016