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ABS says immigration helping to buoy workplace skill levels

ABS says immigration helping to buoy workplace skill levels

Over the last ten years the amount of people in Australia who possess a tertiary qualification has grown to 59 per cent.

According to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, this represents an increase of eight percentage points by 2011 from 51 per cent in 2001.

The numbers clearly show that the volume of people in the country aged 15 to 64 years in their relevant time periods has grown - and that immigration plays a part in these results.

The ABS says that in 2011, 66 per cent of all migrants who travel to Australia are in possession of "academic or trade qualifications" compared to 56 per cent of those born here.

This could be the result of recent changes to the policies put in place by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

These initiatives have seen strong emphasis placed on skills-based sponsorship in order to give Australian businesses the opportunity to gain access to skilled workers when the local labour market is unable to meet demand.

As such, it is understandable that the majority of migrants are in possession of technical skills that are recognised by some kind of certification or award.

On the whole, an advanced education seems to provide more employment opportunities - with the unemployment rate for those with a qualification in 2011 at 3.4 per cent, while those without tertiary recognition displayed a rate of 7.3 per cent.

While the sponsorship focus has been on making skilled labour more readily available, migration agents are likely to see an increase in the number of spouse and dependent visa requests received.

For those 11.2 million people employed in Australia during 2011, the ABS found that more than half were involved in a field that was related to their highest level of qualification - showing that a targeted approach to hiring skilled staff members is used across the board.

This ideal is given more support by the fact that 26 per cent of bureau respondents said they felt that the main impact of their certification was in providing them with their first job - while a further nine per cent indicated that it allowed them to get a raise or career advancement.

As the two-speed economy continues to require more skilled workers, immigration will start to play a larger part in ensuring that core industries can remain productive.

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