Unis can do more to help grads who stay on work visas
There’s a survey of international graduates on what they think of the 485 visa, that allows them to stay on in Australia to work for four years after completing degrees ( CMM June 24). Researcher Ly Thi Tran (Deakin U) reports results to date in a paper for the International Education Association of Australia.
The survey shows;
Some 37 per cent of respondents who have a post-study work rights visa were in FT employment in their field, another 13 per cent were PT or casual in their field. However close to half report the visa has negatively affected employment outcomes.
Associate Professor Tran says this confirms qualitative research findings for the project, which shows that while the visa is seen by holders as a stepping stone to permanent residency “it does not give them a ‘competitive advantage’ in terms of securing a full-time employment, especially in their field of study.”
Respondents dissatisfied with the visa as assisting them into FT employment had four major issues;
* those on the two-year, not four, visa thought it was too short a time to win employer confidence, acquire work-experience, join professional bodies and/or get jobs
* employers do not understand the 485 visa and prefer applicants with permanent residency
* “lack of flexibility” for extending/renewing visa
* “lack of support from related stakeholders including continuing access to institutional career support services.”
Overall, Aspro Tran states; “Even though international graduates do not see the 485 visa as directly and immediately helping them secure a job, it gives them the benefits associated with ‘more time’ and opportunity to enhance their English language and professional, social, networking and residency capital.”
She adds; “findings also support an urgent call for universities to provide international graduates with continuing access to resources and career support to enhance their employability and employment outcomes.”