Australia has one of the strongest economies in the world, and after almost two consecutive decades of growth the unemployment rate has fallen to generational lows. As a result of nearly three decades of structural and policy reforms the Australian economy is flexible, resilient and increasingly integrated with global markets.
The strength of Australia’s economy has been highlighted in recent years by its ability to withstand a number of internal and external events, including a major drought, recessions in the USA, financial and economic crises in Asia and Latin America, and most recently the Global Financial Crisis.
Since 1991, Australia’s real economy has grown by an average of around 3.3 per cent a year, and combined with on-going investment in the economy, the mining boom, and demographic changes related to an aging population, there is a genuine on-going demand for skilled labour within the Australian economy that cannot be met by local supply.
The policy response of the Australian Government to the skills shortage and demographic challenges facing Australian society is the Skilled Migration Program under which people with skills in demand in Australia are invited to move to Australia permanently. The Skilled Migration program is the mainstay of the migration program, and allows people who have no previous relationship with Australia to migrate to this country, and after 4 years in Australia apply for Australian Citizenship.
The benefits of the Skilled Migration Program are outstanding with highly qualified and experienced people moving to Australia to fill positions that cannot otherwise be filled. And the personal outcomes for individual migrants are also brilliant in that on receiving a visa a new Australian can expect to find well paid and interesting jobs.
In 2012 the Australian Government granted 125 850 Skilled Migration visas and in 2013 it granted 129 250 Skilled Migration visas. It is expected to grant around the same number again in 2014. These are in addition to Employer Sponsored migration visas.
According to the Department of Immigration, migrants in Australia initially have a similar rate of unemployment to the Australian born. At the six month stage of settlement, the unemployment rate for skilled migrants is about 5 per cent and six months later the unemployment rate for this group is less than half this rate. At the twelve month stage, around 8 in 10 skilled migrants are working in a full time job, and almost three quarters of skilled migrants are working in a skilled job (DIBP website, 2014).
To discover whether you are eligible for a Skilled or Student Work visa that will allow you to migrate to or study in Australia, we invite you to take VisAustralia’s Migration Assessment Tool or to book a consultation with one of our expert migration lawyers.