Skilled migration in a resource rich state of Australia

Roslyn Cameron, Jaya Earnest, Farveh Farivar, Penelope Strauss, Grace Gao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Skilled migration is a key element in Australia’s strategy to address major human capital shortages and imperatives, however underutilisation and atrophy of professional migrant skills remains a critical problem. The aims of this paper is twofold, first, to identify barriers and propose innovative strategies for ensuring skilled migrant’s work experience and competencies are utilised and second, to investigate the links between workforce participation and health of skilled migrants in the post-resources boom of Western Australia (WA). Regional skilled migration initiatives are a “glocalised” response to regional skill shortages and demand, as evidenced through the Western Australian skilled migration occupation list(WASMOL) and recent skilled migration reforms. Despite population growth(inclusive of professional migration), skills shortages remain evident in resources-rich states such as Western Australia. Recent reforms in migration policy towards a demand-driven, economic modelling system, has seen greater input from states/territories and regions into the required skills and types of targeted skilled migration programs needed to assist in meeting regional skill demands. This targeted regional migration has been witnessed across the resource rich regions of Western Australia (WA). Currently, there is no single data source that provides accurate and recent data on the number and composition of skilled migrants and their families in a region. This study has attempted to address this gap, by analysing secondary data from a variety of sources to provide an estimation of the skilled migrants and their families in WA. The 2011 census data calculates 30.6% of WA’s population as born overseas compared to a national figure of 24.6% (DIBP 2014).This proposed project will provide high quality evidenced based data that will enhance the understanding of a complex economic and social phenomena (skilled and professional immigration), with implications for migration, workforce development and regional development policy domains. The research project aims are:To conduct an environmental scan of extant secondary data sources on the number and composition of skilled migrants in Western Australia and its regions.To understand the facilitators and barriers to “successful transition” into the Western Australian workforce for skilled migrants including policy and practice models.To identify innovative strategies for maximising the labour force participation and skills utilisation of skilled migrant groups in Western Australian workforces.
To identify key strategies for the attraction and retention of skilled migrants and their families in key growth regions in WA.
This paper presents preliminary data from a three phased mixed methods research project. Key outcomes of this project include policy recommendations, a typology of skilled migrants groups and a HR and Well-being framework for skilled migrants.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication9th International Conference for Researching Work and Learning
Subtitle of host publicationConference Proceedings
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherInstitute for Adult Learning
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9789810983550
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event9th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning (RWL09), Work and Learning in the Era of Globalisation: Challenges for the 21st Century - , Singapore
Duration: 9 Dec 201511 Dec 2015


Conference9th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning (RWL09), Work and Learning in the Era of Globalisation: Challenges for the 21st Century


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