A landmark report has found the Queensland economy could benefit from a boost of $250 million in the next 10 years, if the skills and experience of people who are migrants and refugees are recognised.
Multicultural Affairs Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Deloitte Access Economics report, Seizing the Opportunity: Making the Most of the Skills and Experience of Migrants and Refugees, was a call to action for government, industry and community and will be another important issue at the Skills and Industry Summit to be held at the end of the month.
“Queensland is the land of opportunity, and our opportunity is to realise the full potential of migrants and refugees by recognising their skills and educational qualifications,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“By doing this, we will not only help individuals to progress, we will boost the Queensland economy.
“The report shows almost 50 per cent of all skilled migrants are not using their skills or experience they gained before arriving in Australia.
“In Queensland alone, this could add $250 million to the State’s economy over the next decade.”
Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said:
“The iconic Australian value of having a ‘fair go’ starts at getting a job and being a part of the economy in this great state.
“I look forward to working with all levels of government, industry and the community to build on the good work already happening, and to consider new ways we can work together to offer a more productive work experience for migrants and refugees and boost Queensland’s economy.”
Mr Hinchliffe said the Deloitte report contains the first hard evidence of the potential cost to the Queensland economy, including the more than 6,200 skilled migrants and refugees who have qualifications which align with current skill shortages.
“Having employment where your experience and knowledge is valued and your contribution is appreciated is often one of the first opportunities to feel a part of the community, to feel like you belong,” he said.
Natasha Doherty, report author and Deloitte Access EconomicsPartner, said the lack of Australian recognition of overseas-obtained, post-school qualifications, was one of the main barriers to migrants and refugees being able to secure a skilled job.
“During multi-modal data collection and analysis of migrant and refugees work experience, 27 per cent of those surveyed said they could not find a job suited to their qualifications,” she said.
“A further 25 per cent did not have their qualifications recognised in Australia, and another 14 per cent said their work experience was not recognised.
“They said the process of having their international qualifications recognised here was just too complex and too expensive.”
To read the report visit www.dlgrma.qld.gov.au/migrant-skills