The Australia day long weekend means different things to different people. For some, a little bit of time off to enjoy the company of family, friends and maybe a BBQ. For others it brings undertones of past injustices (no political statements being made here…. I can’t even vote!).

For me it’s a time to reflect and be thankful for the opportunities this country has provided for me. Now granted, I’ve only migrated 4 hours west from across the dutch brewwww, but this whole moving countries thing and starting again isn’t a walk in the park, especially if you don’t have the privileges that us Kiwis get here in Straya.

It seems to me that for every success story, there are 3 without a happy ending. In the various roles I’ve played in and around the recruitment game, I’ve seen many an immigrant struggle to find their feet and gain an opportunity to showcase their skills. Often these people come in way overqualified for the roles they are applying for but are willing to take a step back in order to gain some local experience. conducted a survey of skilled migrants in South Australia and found that 53% of immigrants who fall under the skilled migration program, felt they were not utilising their skills and abilities, with 44% working in a job different to what they nominated in their visa application. About 15% reported being unemployed at the time of the survey or for most of their time in Australia – double the South Australian jobless rate. This was despite having skills deemed by government planners to be in short supply.

So, what’s the deal? Is the widely held view of immigrants that Australian employers discriminate against hiring anyone who doesn’t have local experience accurate, or do these jobs simply not exist? In my experience I’ve been unfortunate to witness on far too many occasions where the perfect candidate is turned down based on experience in Australia.

So, I ask you this – Is the skilled migration program working, or does the whole methodology that underpins the program, with state and territory sponsorships that implicitly encourage aspiring migrants, need to be revisited?

Enough of this serious stuff! This Kiwi lad is off to watch a fair dinkum Aussie hero beat up the world tennis number 1!!
** That didn’t go well did it.