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Australia’s third largest export still hurting

By: admin|

The Australian governments decision to slow down the student visas opportunities with the view to focusing on the skills shortage list, has certainly had a major effect on thousands of Australian workers currently and previously involved in the training and education system in Australia. There has been numerous closures of VET training organisations across Australia with many more to follow, given the reduction in supply of foreign fee paying students.

As I constantly travel this country I am also constantly holding meaningful and some times heart-felt discussions with numerous highly qualified australian university foreign students driving taxis, yet in a lot of cases their job skills are on the skills shortage list. The reason this is occurring is that the now qualified students are having to wait up to 5 years to find out if they have been successful with their australian residency applications, which from a human point of view is not what I call very Australian.

The many Australian University qualified foreign workers are not able to secure a full-time position with an Australian company as the first thing they are asked is do they have their Australian residency and naturally the answer is no, given the long and uncertain delays. One must remember these people have already simulated well into the Australian society, are making contributions to our taxation system, have the required University qualifications yet must spend probably the most productive years of their life not knowing what the future holds for them or their families.

Other issues that confront them and many other students in securing employment when the time comes, is the fact that not many companies will  give an inexperienced person the opportunity and especially if that person has completed their studies over the past years but has not been able to apply the skills due to awaiting residency visa, the vicious circle continues.  One must assume given the size of the Australian workforce and the many small and medium business’s, the high costs associated with employing people the opportunities to provide work experience to many students is just a dream and not a reality.

It is pleasing to see further talks and discussions are taking place in regards to the student visa  but given the flow of students has now been directed away from the Australian education market towards the other Asian Countries, USA and the UK. There is a lot of ground work and rebuilding to be undertaken if education is to every regain its place as a source of high quality overseas workforce that is trained in the Australian qualification courses, already simulated into the Australian society and bring with them so many new and innovative solutions to a country that is starved of a highly educated workforce and continually has work force skills shortages.

Making the right decisions now is what Australia needs and its needs to have a global vision not just a local vision as globally there are massive changes taking place all around us.

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