Recognising international student quals a start

The Group of Eight warns Australia needs international graduates to meet the skills gap but recognising their qualifications isn’t all the answer

In a new policy submission* the Eight points out international students in 2020 made up 61 per cent of IT enrolments, 43 per cent in engineering and 30 per cent in architecture and building . The figures are higher for postgrads in a range of disciplines.

“The fact is that without these students and the ability to integrate them into the Australian workforce – whether for the long or medium term – the current skills crisis and workforce shortages … will continue and worse,” the Go8 warns.

Problem is, as the Eight notes, grads have to be able to find work here and that requires employers understanding post study work rights.

Right the Eight is. As Ly Tran (Deakin U) and colleagues point out, IT grads do well in the jobs market (transferable tech skills in a cosmopolitan industry) but not so much engineering and bized grads, where employers prefer international grads with permanent residency to those on PSWR (CMM August 19).

*but what about off-shore skills The previous government established a taskforce on Australia-India recognition of each other’s qualifications which present education minister Jason Clare says work on this will be complete by year end.  A working group is on it.