What's New Australia

 4 December 2017

     Foreign student flood ghettoising local kids

  • Close to one in five unemployed young people have been out of work for at least a year despite trying just as hard as older jobseekers to find employment, a report has found.

    The report by anti-poverty organisation The Brotherhood of St Laurence, to be released on Monday, shows there is little difference between young people and older jobseekers when it comes to their job search activities.

    Using data from the longitudinal Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, The Brotherhood of St Laurence report analysed the assumption that young people were less active in looking for work.

    TENS of thousands of foreign students are prolonging their stay in Australia by switching visas to become tourists, partners of local residents and even asylum seekers.

    A massive 443,798 overseas students — a population the size of Canberra — were in the country as of June 30, and they all have the right to work up to 20 hours a week…

    In 2016-17 across Australia about 200,000 foreign students already here got new visas, including 37,759 who transferred to the temporary graduate 485 visa allowing them to stay in Australia with full-time work rights for at least two years.

    A further 39,945 former student visa holders got tourist visas, 10,685 scored the temporary skilled 457 visa, 8199 got to stay as spouses or betrothed of locals, and 864 convinced authorities that they were asylum seekers.

    Demographer Dr Bob Birrell, from the Australian Population Research Institute, said the size of the foreign student population was mind-boggling, and it was clear that most wanted to extend their stay in Australia.

    “It’s obvious that the attraction to come to Australia is primarily access to our job market and ultimately to permanent residency,” he said.

    “The problem is that we have acute competition in the job markets that these temporary migrants are entering, and that has a massive significance for younger Australians who are moving from school into work without formal qualifications”…

    [Birrell] said that federal authorities were dealing with a legacy of successive governments encouraging temporary entrants to stay for long periods in Australia.

    As of December 31, 2016, there were 2.09 million temporary entrants here with work rights, including New Zealand citizens with special visas, foreign students, working holiday makers and temporary skilled workers.

    The broad macro data backs up Dr Birrell’s claims. Since the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2008, the total number of jobs for people aged 15-24 years old has fallen by 1.2%, whereas full-time jobs have collapsed by 19.1%. And this comes despite a 7.5% lift in the 15-24 year old population over that period.

    As it stands, young Australians are being crushed by increased competition for jobs, lower wages, as well as upward pressure on house prices in the migrant hotspots of Sydney and Melbourne. Meanwhile, the rest of us living in the major cities are suffering from worsening congestion, ever-rising infrastructure charges, and declining livability as the population swells year after year.

    New Zealand has just moved to cut the number of foreign students flooding its universities. It may be that we need to do the same or to tighten the limitations around the hours that foreign students can work.


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