Legislative Council

QUESTION: Skilled Migrants

April 12th, 2017

On the 12th of April 2017, Mark asked the Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills a question about skilled migration to South Australia.

The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: I have become aware of a situation whereby skilled migrants are being enticed to South Australia, bringing skills that are supposedly in short supply, only to find that there is little or no work in their field of expertise. Not surprisingly, migrants can feel that they have been misled in their desire to further their careers if they move to South Australia only to find that there aren't any jobs. In the meantime, they are compelled to stay in South Australia for at least two years. This situation has led to much anguish and heartache, as skilled migrants find themselves unemployed or working in menial jobs. I am told that this is also having a serious impact on the mental health of migrants and their families.

There is a list of state-nominated occupations on the South Australian government's Immigration South Australia website, and I note that there are seven A4 pages of occupation types, most of which are described as "high availability".

My questions of the minister are:

1. Who is responsible for maintaining the accuracy and relevance of the list of state-nominated occupations, and when was that list updated? I make the observation that when I downloaded it today it was dated today, so it may have been updated today, but I note that it comes with a range of disclaimers that were not on previous lists.

2. What steps are taken to monitor job vacancies in the various occupations that are on the list?

3. What follow-up monitoring or evaluation is undertaken in relation to individual skilled migrants to South Australia to see whether or not they were able to find work in their areas of expertise?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER  (Minister for Employment, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Science and Information Economy): I thank the honourable member for his questions. I won't be able to add much to it now, but I think the honourable member probably presumes that I will take it on notice and bring back a reply to him. I know that a lot of the skilled migration program is a federal government program. The federal government has control over migration not state jurisdictions, but I presume that the skills part of the Department for State Development, under minister Susan Close, monitors that skills area. I will find out which part of state government has involvement and bring back a reply for the honourable member.

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