The immigration dept has extended foreign graduates work permits to four years and removed restrictions in industry based on skills shortages - foreign students, upon graduation from an Australian university have previously been allowed to stay and work for 18 months only in jobs where there are skills shortages such as medicine and IT, but can now stay for four years with no work restrictions.
It seems the obvious motivation for the move is to keep skilled foreigners in the country for economic reasons. Four years allows a higher likelihood of meeting a partner and marrying, establishing oneself in a career, buying property and thus greater economic input etc etc.
Critics say it will take jobs away from Australians in an already tough market.
Is this decision a good move for Australia? What are your thoughts?
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19-03-2013 10:41 #1
Work rules relaxed for foreign students
19-03-2013 13:03 #2
Clearly this is a fascinating topic!
Well, I found it interesting - I mean in terms if why four years? Why the change? And why now? Ah well maybe it's not such a big deal...?
I wonder if its to do with Australia's changing demographics with the baby boomers beginning retirement.... And it's only the start of things to come.
19-03-2013 13:37 #3
I think it's interesting too!
I live in WA where we have super low unemployment and still have massive shortages in basically every industry so I am pro anything that increases our workforce. I don't see it as taking jobs away from Aussies as over here if you are willing and able to work there are jobs around. Yeah sure, they're not all glamorous jobs with great pay or great hours, but there is work around.
My issue with this is the 'brain drain' of developing countries. Basically what we are doing is enticing anyone with skills to leave their own country and come work in a developed country which leaves their country of origin stuck in the same pattern as always.
There are definitely arguments for both sides of that coin. Obviously if they have the resources and desire to leave they should be able to do so, but is it ethical for developed countries to make it so easy and enticing? If the students had the money to come and study here then they obviously weren't in low economic populations. From an ethics perspective we could alternatively bring in more unskilled workers (e.g. increase our refugee intake) and offer them training for low skill jobs (or high skill if they have the capacity) when they get here.
19-03-2013 14:18 #4
Those are good points! Hopefully a good chunk of foreign students/workers choose to go back at some point and put their skills to good use in countries that need them. A lot of them would choose to stay here as Australia provides much better opportunities and lifestyle than say India or other Asian countries.
I suppose the government and immigration dept see the value in enticing more foreign uni students here, but why not allow them to stay permanently? Why impose a 4 year limit? I don't really get it as surely many of those who do stay will have built a life here in that time and there is far greater likelihood some will marry Australians and therefor gain citizenship anyway.
18 months seems a short but reasonable time - 4 years, it just seems bizarre they would then ship them off back home after that period if time. But I know nothing about economics so I guess that's why I put it up for discussion.
19-03-2013 15:03 #5
It may be a response to the baby boomers starting to move into retirement - and we need some way to replace that demographic in the economy as they slowly start to move out of the workforce and housing market. On the other hand, knowing how hard it is for uni students to get a job straight out of uni, even with a masters in many disciplines, I wouldn't want to be a uni student right now.
19-03-2013 19:09 #6
Interesting article, but the 4 years is only for PhD students. Bachelors degree holders get 2 years (which isn't a huge jump from 18 months) and Masters graduates get 3 years.
I think it's a great way of encouraging well educated people to stay in Australia- most PhD holders would I imagine end up doing some sort of research or similar. 4 years is plenty of time for them to sort themselves out and get themselves sorted with job sponsorship etc to stay in the country if they wanted to afterwards.
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