Drivers of employment outcomes amongst skilled migrants to Australia


  • Justin van de Ven The University of Melbourne
  • Sarah Voitchovsky The University of Melbourne



Skilled migration, Australia, migrant employment outcomes


During the last 2 decades Australia has very substantially increased its skilled migration intake to off-set the effects of declining fertility and increased longevity. Between 1996 and 2011, permanent arrivals in Australia rose from 85000 to 195000 per year, with 83 per cent of the increase accounted for by migration through the Skill Stream. Furthermore, since the mid-2000s Australian skilled migration policy has shifted from a “supply driven” model that favoured independent General Skilled Migrants, to a “hybrid model” that balances supply driven migration against Employer Sponsored “demand driven” migration. van de Ven and Voitchovsky (2014) report estimates for the period between 2005 and 2009, which indicate that this shift to a hybrid model for selection substantively improved labour market outcomes amongst skilled migrants. Here we explore the channels through which improved labour market outcomes were achieved. Our investigation emphasises the likely importance of English language and experience in delivering improved employment outcomes, aspects that are imperfectly controlled for in our first empirical study.


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