UK and USA uncertainties spur expat interest in Australian job market

Published:  26 May at 6 PM
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Aspiring expat jobseekers are turning their attention to Australia due to Brexit uncertainty and the political and economic effects of the Trump presidency.

A 30 per cent surge in the numbers of job seekers from overseas hit Australia’s recruiters at the beginning of April and shows no signs of slowing down. The biggest increases in applications came from India, up by 55 per cent on last year’s totals, with Japan at 49 per cent, Ireland at 11 per cent, the UAE at 26 per cent and South Africa at 22 per cent. The rise came in spite of the recent cancellation of the skilled migrant visa 457 which cut the number of eligible skills and made applying for permanent residency far more difficult.

Traditional sources for skilled migrants such as the USA, Hong Kong and the UK were once at the top for online searches for Australian jobs, but interest from all three countries has dropped significantly, with Hong Kong falling by 31 per cent, the USA by 8.5 per cent and the UK down 3.6 per cent. For decades, Australia has been an all-time favourite for expat professionals from first world countries, but studies now show India and several Southeast Asian countries joining the queue for jobs.

At the same time, the focus on destination countries for would-be Australian expats has also changed, along with the actual numbers of job seekers. The numbers of those wishing to leave Australia have risen by 10 per cent, and the preferred destinations are no longer the UK and USA. Canada, Korea, Singapore, China and Japan along with other Asian destinations are now the preferred option for OZ expat professionals.

Specific skills on demand in Australia at present are found in the mechanical and electrical engineering sectors, with software technology taking third place. Chemical and civil engineering are popular with aspiring expats, as are project management and science related positions. Finance is less attractive than in the past, as are business operations and architectural positions. It’s not yet known whether negative publicity about the new working visas will cause a drop in applications from overseas workers.

Source: Business Insider
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