Coalition reignites immigration ponzi

Acting immigration minister, Alan Tudge, has released a new ‘skilled’ migration plan supposedly aimed at boosting population growth, creating jobs and helping the economy recover from the COVID-19 recession:

Most of the 17 jobs on the new list of workers that businesses will be able to sponsor from overseas relate to the medical industry, including registered nurses, general practitioners, psychiatrists and midwives, but chief executives, construction project managers, mechanical engineers and software engineers also make the list…

“If a person fits that category [on the list] they will get an exemption to come through the borders,” Mr Tudge said…

He acknowledged there could be some concerns from the more than one million Australians whose jobs were lost within the first six weeks of shutdowns to limit the health effects of the pandemic but said historically strong migration meant GDP growth and per capita growth…

“Immigration is actually part of that answer of getting Australians back into work because some people are job-creating individuals,” Mr Tudge said. This could include significant investors, entrepreneurs who create businesses or workers with highly specialised skills needed by businesses…

“Migration has been obviously an important driver of population growth. That alone is a significant economic driver. But migration has also helped our participation rate and our productivity rate because we bring in young and skilled people.”

“It’s a very significant part of Australia’s economic and social success. Australia is an immigrant nation and we will return to being an immigrant nation”…

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash said businesses would still have to advertise with two national classifieds outlets to prove there was a shortage of local workers able to fill the role…

“The occupations were chosen after careful analysis of recent changes to the internet vacancy index, changes in employment, and longer-term stability in the labour market for individual occupations,” Senator Cash said.

A quick glance at the federal government’s own skills shortage list reveals that most of these occupations were not actually in shortage before COVID-19 hit, and are therefore less likely to be in shortage now.

Research a few years back also showed that Australia was awash with overseas trained doctors (OTDs), prompting both the Australian Medical Association and the Department of Health to seek the removal of dozens of health roles from the official skills shortages list, which was ignored by the Coalition.

The latest skills shortage report from the federal government also confirms that there is no shortage of nurses:

While there were differences by specialisation, in 2017-18, employers generally filled their nurse vacancies with relative ease. In 2017-18, 72% of nurse vacancies were filled and there was an average of 7.2 applicants per vacancy. These results are fairly consistent with those experienced over the previous three years (see Figure 1)…

The supply of nurses has increased in recent years, with nursing graduate numbers and nurse registrations at historically high levels.

And what about the immorality of stripping developing nations of their medical expertise?

The biggest laugh must be reserved for construction project managers. With apartment and university projects collapsing across Australia, many of these people will already have been made redundant. Now they will have to compete with fast tracked visa holders. Seriously?

Moreover, what a crock of confusing, contradictory waffle this statement by Tudge is:

He said getting Australian citizens and residents back to work was the government’s “number one objective”.

“Immigration is actually part of that answer of getting Australians back into work because some people are job-creating individuals,” Mr Tudge said. This could include significant investors, entrepreneurs who create businesses or workers with highly specialised skills needed by businesses.”

Did anyone notice “significant investors and entrepreneurs” on the list of skill shortages? Nope.

Further, Tudge’s statement that “migration has also helped our participation rate and our productivity rate because we bring in young and skilled people” is easily debunked. If Tudge had bothered to look, he would have realised that Australia’s purportedly ‘skilled’ migration system is actually a low-paid rort that undercuts Australian workers and productivity.

The proof is in the pudding.

Let’s first examine Australia’s permanent migrant system, which is currently set at 160,000 non-humanitarian places and around 16,000 humanitarian places; although neither of these targets will be hit given COVID-19:

Within this 176,000 strong permanent target are 109,000 places under the ‘skilled stream’, which is where the superficial claim that Australia’s immigration program is skills-based comes from.

Digging into these superficial figures reveals a permanent migrant program that is, in fact, mostly unskilled.

First, as noted in the Productivity Commission’s 2016 Migrant Intake into Australia report, half of the skilled stream comprises the family members of the primary skilled migrants:

…within the skill stream, about half of the visas granted were for ‘secondary applicants’ — partners (who may or may not be skilled) and dependent children… Therefore, while the skill stream has increased relative to the family stream, family immigrants from the skill and family stream still make up about 70 per cent of the Migration Programme (figure 2.8)…

Primary applicants tend to have a better fiscal outcome than secondary applicants — the current system does not consider the age or skills of secondary applicants as part of the criteria for granting permanent skill visas…

Second, the median pay of Australia’s permanent migrants is actually well below the population average, whereas unemployment is higher, according to the Department of Home Affairs’ Continuous Survey of Migrants:

As shown above:

  • The median annual full-time earnings of migrants was $16,500 (22%) below the general population in 2017;
  • The median annual earnings of migrants was $5,900 (10.2%) below the general population in 2017; and
  • The unemployment rate of surveyed migrants (12.6%) was more than double the general population (5.5%) in 2017.

Even if we focus on the skilled stream only, both median earnings and unemployment is far worse than the general population:

According to the ABS’ Characteristics of Recent Migrants, November 2019 survey, migrant unemployment is also far higher than the Australian born population:

As shown above, 6.6% of recent migrants were unemployed as at November 2019, versus only 4.7% of Australian born persons.

The story is no better for Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visas. The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) has been frozen at the ludicrously low level of $53,900 since 2013-14. This is $3,300 (6%) below the median income of all Australians ($57,200), which includes unskilled workers, according to the ABS:

Thus, the TSMIT has also incentivised employers to hire cheap migrants instead of local workers, as well as abrogated the need to provide training.

These are shocking results. Skilled migrants are purported to be highly qualified and brought into Australia to overcome ‘skills shortages’.

These ‘skilled’ migrants should, therefore, be paid well above the general population, which comprises both skilled and unskilled workers, as well as have very low unemployment.

The fact that ‘skilled’ migrants are paid less, and suffer higher unemployment, is a damning indictment of Australia’s purported ‘skilled’ immigration system, and is bonafide proof that it is undercutting local workers.

Thus, Australia is not running a skilled migration system at all, but a defacto low-skilled system that is depressing wages, crush-loading cities, diluting our resources base, and eroding overall amenity for existing residents.

If Tudge had a shred of integrity on this issue, he would require that all skilled migrants (both temporary and permanent) be employer-sponsored (given their far better employment outcomes – see above charts) and paid at least at the 75th percentile of earnings (preferably higher).

This would ensure that the skilled visa scheme is used sparingly by businesses to employ only highly skilled migrants with specialised skills, not abused by businesses as a tool for undercutting local workers and eliminating the need for training.

Of course, integrity is not the goal here. It is all about driving another influx of “cheap” labour and property demand to increase profits for the Big End of Town, the biggest supporters of these charlatans.

Leith van Onselen

Comments

    • Michaelia Cash said businesses would still have to advertise with two national classifieds outlets to prove there was a shortage of local workers able to fill the role…

      This is how it is bypassed:
      1. Advertise on Gumtree and Seek for a very specific set of skills at a very low salary ($53,000)
      2. No one applies.
      3. Recruit foreigner.

      • You beat me to it….. I am flabbergasted that this requirement is all it takes to ‘prove’ the ‘skills shortage’. WTF?!

        • happy valleyMEMBER

          Michaelia is a joke. Slave wages are her no. 1 priority. Just doing the LNP’s and her dog’s work.

          • Her (lack of) intelligence did not get her where she is. She has a very WA type Liberal pedigree of born to rule and net bedding?

      • A few years ago I showed interest in a Senior Software Developer / Lead role with an ASX100 company. The position has 4 other developers reporting to it.
        The agency contacted me and we had a discussion about the project and responsibilities etc. and it seemed interesting.
        I then asked about the pay. Was told it paid $80K.
        It was at that point I knew they didn’t want anyone local.

        • Yep, there are plenty of software jobs available for 457’s (or whatever number they are classified as now) paying only $1000 per week with threat of deportation and loss of chance at gaining Permanent Resident status hanging over their head, if they piss off the boss.

          457 guy I worked with did same job as me but only paid half as much for years, until he eventually achieved PR and promptly got a job nearby with a different company which paid him double what he was earning while a 457.

          Took him 3 attempts to pass the IELTS exam though, and he was stressing to the max over it for those 6 months.

          He was also stressed the entire time about the high cost of living here, trying to provide reasonable quality of life for his wife and 3 kids whilst on $55k a year.

      • There should be a “National Jobs Board” where all these jobs are listed BEFORE we can bring a foreigner in. Make it online and accessible to all. TRANSPARENCY.

  1. adelaide_economistMEMBER

    “job creating individuals” is obviously their new slogan to justify the population Ponzi. It’s so bad it makes me think advertising guru ScoMo himself came up with it. Can someone tell me how a doctor (predominantly paid by Medicare in the case of GPs) and state funds/ Medicare for other doctors as well as nurses paid by state funding are somehow job creating individuals? Other than the local coffee shop frequented by these migrants who could also be paid that money by existing unemployed people if they got those jobs instead.

    • The “rort-creating individuals” like Trudge seek to make policy to bring in the “job creating individuals” on the advice of the “propaganda-creating individuals” like KPMG and the MSM for the benefit of “rent-seeking individuals” who own the “debt-creating individuals” who pay the “rort-seeking individuals (see above)”.

      I’m so glad that we have a free market economy making rationale decisions to assist our democracy. Otherwise it might be wasteful, exploitative, inefficient, inequitable and open to corruption by “self-interested individuals”.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        It would be rac!st to deny any global worker the right to come and work in our economic zone. We would also be harming ourselves, because the only metric that is race, culture and socially neutral are economic ones.

        To apply any other lens other than pure economics would be inappropriate as we would be making decisions on the basis of our individual cultural values, and thus either directly or indirectly exercising our power over, and potentially potentially damaging the interests of individuals who don’t share the same cultural and social values as ourselves.

        We need to be mindful that we are in a MultiCult zone now, and the ONLY way to ethically navigate all the competing cultural demands, especially of the majority, is to ensure that the only lens ever to be applied is the economic lens.

        This is who we are now.

        • Display NameMEMBER

          I like your thinking. It is only the return at the current hurdle rate that matters. We know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

          It still surprises me how many professional people are blind to the fragility and stupidity of our economic systems.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            Once upon a time we had a relatively united social narrative that could always lean against it – now thanks to the pursuit of diversity and MultiCult that pressure is no better than a loosely bound fagggot of twigs.

    • Of course Scummo is behind this. He sends out stooges like Tudge because he knows it is politically toxic so doesn’t want to be personally assocaited but he is there. No doubt about it.

      • But Gramus, Morrison is indeed personally associated. All this guff is straight out of Dear Leader’s “Planning for Australia’s Population Future” of 2019. Which Tudge is just capable of reading, and parroting.

        They can get away with recycling this Year 7 “immigrant nation” “economic driver” “job creator” nonsense because of unwavering support from Labor, Greens, the states, the press, the academics, the unions.

        With Keneally safely off at reeducation camp, there isn’t really a single influential agency or figure in the public discourse that would have any strong inclination to put Australians first. Sad.

    • I’m malpractice-inclined migrants add some extra work for locals. Lawyers and inquiry staffing in particular.

  2. Column on the right tells you what industries this is really about. The medical stuff is a smokescreen.

    Same guys who told migrants to go home as there are no jobs and now want to bring them.

    Clown world.

  3. Government is like the RBA, they have a view of how the country and world is and a course of action but events can unfold at lightning pace however it takes a looooooooong time to turn the group think ship of suited fools around.

  4. As someone who is watching friends graduate with degrees in stuff like industrial mathematics and engineering be told by a diverse range of companies that “we are not currently recruiting new staff”, how a policy like this even gets past casual conversation behind closed doors I have no idea.

  5. Charles MartinMEMBER

    Tudge should stick to fvcking everyday Australians over via immigration from his own portfolio. But I guess this a good opportunity to create a synergy between these two portfolios to make sure that parliament is acting in the national interest.

  6. Fark me.

    “Immigration is actually part of that answer of getting Australians back into work because some people are job-creating individuals,” Mr Tudge said. This could include significant investors, entrepreneurs who create businesses or workers with highly specialised skills needed by businesses.”

    Notice he doesn’t say some of these people.

    Some people are Tudgyboy, but not these.

    • He’s right!
      There’s a Chinese owned business next door to mine that employs (exclusively) Chinese immigrants.

      These people take one look at the employment legislation. minimum wage etc and go: Fark that!

    • Yup, we all know where these immigrants will be coming from…. earlier this week their country had 78k+ new COVID infections in just one day…
      How many hotels, hospitals etc do we have to quarantine and treat these people when they arrive? Coz treat them we will have to!

      • happy valleyMEMBER

        Great foresight on the part of our best-ever LNP government to be recruiting medicos to deal with the flood of ScoVID-19 cases (imported and home grown) when SFM formally opens the vibrancy floodgates?

        • And zero self-awareness re the moral question of whether we should be helping ourselves to skilled staff from developing countries – thereby denying them those resources. More so now with Covid as we have barely any cases whereas it’s rampant elsewhere.

          • “identify as skilled”. Lol

            “From the flight deck … I’d just like to welcome you all aboard … I’m not a real pilot you know, but I identify as one, so you’re in safe hands ..”

  7. No Chief Executive or Managing Director is the worst “skills shortage”, how many organisations are shrinking their executive team, especially if they are owned Internationally. Also these roles don’t create jobs, they just cut the workforce because they can’t grow the top line.

  8. Foreign johnny docs are very good for business.
    The amount of botched surgery I need to fix up is big enough without this…

      • No – its confidential…
        Well ok seeing its you….
        I had a case once in the public hospital where i said to the other team “I see the problem – its nothing to do with you – i will take over this patients care” – I started treatment and went to bed.
        I was called at 3am by the 2 foreign docs who had taken the patient to theatre and slotted the patient right the whole way down the abdomen to confirm my diagnosis. I said WTF are you doing? All she needed was antibiotics!
        And I also said “i’m not taking her over now – you can look after that gaping wound.”
        The thing is we need more foreign docs for the countryside – our young ones dont want to go there.

  9. Bollocks Tudge!

    Mechanical engineers, Australia must have thousands of them seeking work. Take the following:
    https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/2011194934
    Mechanical Engineer, at time of viewing it was posted just 24 hours ago – it has had 347 views and 37 applications… but yeah, AUSTRALIA NEEDS TO IMPORT MECH ENGINEERS FROM OVERSEAS EH!!!!! BOLLOCKS

    • Ah, but are they the ‘right’ kind of engineers? Ones who might work for $53,000 a year, for example.

      • Geez we have almost thinned the last of ours out, left over from the mining construction boom days. Farking useless the lot of them. Absolutely hopeless bordering on dangerous for a few !

  10. LVO you better book your slot on ABC 730 and tears this to pieces before it becomes accepted mainstream.

  11. Mr SquiggleMEMBER

    “a crock of confusing, contradictory waffle’

    Totally agree. According to these population boosters if a job is filled by a new migrant it will create other jobs, but if a job is filled by someone already in Australia it won’t create any new jobs. Huh?

    What about earlier migrants? The 30% who make up our population.

    This is how ponzi schemes start to collapse, i.e. when people who are already in the system no longer benefit from it. I wonder how earlier migrants are going to feel coming out of Covid when they hear that new jobs need to go to new migrants and if they get a job it won’t create other jobs.

    • truthisfashionable

      Atlassian getting their fill?

      I find this list interesting, they are all typically very high paying roles. RN’s are able to earn 6 figures with overtime currently.

  12. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Definitely need more fresh “job creating individuals”to take over the failed coffee shops or the Asian slop chop shops at the food court . They will employ the “students ” at $10 per hour so they can then fund the great education export business . Go Tudge ! ….a man who understands the strayan economy

  13. Anyway, we all knew that this was their only option, ‘open the gates’, so here it is, right on cue!
    Just butter up the population with the terms ‘skills shortage’ and ‘immigrants are vital to pull us out of recession’, and ‘immigrants create jobs’!!!! And the general public will totally believe it all and rush to get more!!!! I mean who wants to pick up their own takeaways?!

    • To be fair, most of the public are tired of this shyte. And nor do they believe it. It’s just that they can’t do anything about it – the other mob are even worse on immigration. They’d have every 3rd world geriatric through the door in a heartbeat.

  14. We are in the middle of the biggest downturn since the Great Depression and this chunt has the balls to come out with this!! What an absolute disgrace. He, and anyone in politics that supports this, should hang their heads in shame.

    If we allow this to happen, then we truly are a country of fools, and the future our children and grandchildren is doomed.

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      You have just had your first lightbulb moment … for today. Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984.

  15. What if the passive, heretofore accepting and unlikely to raise a fuss, citizens of the nation said no?

  16. Mental note.. make sure the kids don’t study anything on that list because those professions are going to be worthless.

    I can’t believe the medico’s will allow it. Meanwhile there doesn’t seem to be a voice for the IT workers of the country. I wonder if I’ll ever see an Aussie graduate working in IT again?

    • Different parts of IT. Luckily my part of IT is not readily able to be taken over by new migrants, nor outsourced!!
      It helps to be able to engage with, understand and interpret business needs. And then to relay these to those who cut the code and determine the end-to-end solution, who can do the architecture and build part from anywhere in the world. And then to be able to stand up and reject the solution and build on behalf of the business, coz it’s not going to cut it!

    • The time was we would have gone on strike and watch the body count grow.
      But docs now have picked up on how we are disliked and want to be nice.
      AMA leaders now are big woke, softies. So we just take it like everyone else.

    • Getting a visa for a foreign doc is one thing. Getting them registered and approved to work unsupervised is another. Jayant Patel has made governments and accrediting bodies very nervous about foreign medical credentials.

    • Display NameMEMBER

      Running 190+K NOM into what is likely to be 20+% slack in the labour force is going to decimate wages and greatly exacerbate inequality. If the average sheeple doesnt get that the LNP has zero interest in their well being, nothing will change their minds. We are not a country as SG suggests. We are an economic zone. Its interesting that peak neoliberalism is achieved with a government that is full of right wing alleged christians. It just goes to show this is just another virtue signalling badge they wear.

      And it is likely to set the economy back some as well. I work in software automation. Its march will be inexorable. The figures just make sense. Bring in a whole lot of low skilled people will just create permanent under class. It will end up being a different country, Sorry economic zone.

  17. Prettyfly Forawhiteguy

    The gates must be opened to meet ethnic diversity targets because…diversity and inclusion!!!

  18. darklydrawlMEMBER

    “If Tudge had a shred of integrity…” Bwwwaaahahahahaha. He’s one of the more useless members of parliment – at home in the putrid shallows of the talent pool. I still recall his ‘villiage idiot’ performance with the robodebt fiasco and the general oversight of the DH&S. The guy should have been fired months ago!

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      Fired?? He’s part of your brilliant future. Nobody in a LNP government gets fired – there’s just so much talent – Tudge, Colbeck, Sukkar …?

  19. happy valleyMEMBER

    And wasn’t it so prophetic of our ABC to run a repeat of a Utopia episode (2019 series) last night, just to remind us of what government is all about?

    • That’s the best news article I’ve read all year. The Chinese middle class is way way way above being exploited. That sort of sh1t shouldn’t happen to them and they will not stand for it. The ONLY way to decrease Chinese migration to Australia is to get them to understand that economically it doesn’t makesense and they will be brutally exploited, which they aren’t keen on (unsurprisingly). The only message the Chinese masses back home will trust is one from their own. I hope these people are successful in spreading the word, espabout the hypocrisy of our workplace justice system. They’ll see there have positive judgements for years for workers but nothing ever changes

  20. It is true that some, some, of the people in those positions are job-creating individuals, however, that doesn’t explain why in the long term those people need to be imported and not trained locally.
    It is also true that part, part, of the story of getting Australians back into work, is immigration, but it isn’t the entire story, nor does it prove that it is an overall in total benefit to those Australians, so when do we hear about the rest of the story?
    This propaganda also lies by omission by not including the costs of this immigration.
    “Australia is an immigrant nation…”
    This again. Has Australia ceased to be a nation over the past six or so months without crush loading the country full of people? Hypothetically, if Australia ceased immigration it wouldn’t cease to be a nation.