Finding good job not easy for skilled migrants in Australia: Study

Finding good job not easy for skilled migrants in Australia: Study

Securing a suitable employment can be a long, difficult and disappointing process for migrants coming to Australia, who often take up jobs that are low-paid and not commensurate to their skills, according to a new study led by an Indian-origin psychology professor.

At the time of being surveyed, over 50 per cent of the participants were unemployed, said the study by the University of Western Sydney (UWS). While some participants (seven per cent) had secured jobs prior to their arrival, approximately 42 per cent reported spending between 1-6 months looking for jobs and others (23 per cent) reported spending 7-12 months or more than one year (26 per cent) job-searching.

The study report titled 'Apply Apply Negative Reply: Understanding Job-Seeking Experiences of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Job-Seekers in Australia' was led by Renu Narchal from the School of Social Sciences and Psychology.

She worked in partnership with the Community Migrant Resource Centre formerly known as The Hills Holroyd Parramatta Migrant Resource Centre to survey 107 migrants and refugees about their job-seeking experiences in Australia.

"Of the participants in this survey, 58 per cent had tertiary-level and 15 percent had postgraduate qualifications," Narchal said adding, "They came to this country with the perception that Australia needs skilled workers and are aplenty.

What they found was a tough, competitive job market where their skills were not valued but rather discounted, eventually forcing many to take up jobs that are low-paid and not commensurate to their skills qualifications and experience, she added.

As part of the study, 30 of the participants were interviewed about their job-seeking experiences in Australia. These interviews highlighted a number of key issues, which are commonly faced by the migrant job-seekers, including their expectations of migrating to Australia, perception of the country's job market and culture -– which substantially differed from the reality they experienced.

Throughout the entire migration process, job-seeking was identified as the most stressful and biggest challenge and was found to have a significant negative impact on the person's health and wellbeing.

Also, perceived racial and cultural discrimination as well as a lack of local connections and local work experience were considered a significant barrier to securing suitable, meaningful employment.

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