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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 825 asked in the Legislative Council on 18 September 2018 by Hon Charles Smith

Minister responding: Hon S.M. Ellery
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 18 September 2018


825. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the Minister for Education and Training:

I refer to the additional graduate skilled migration list introduced by the state government that will provide another pathway for foreign students to achieve residency upon graduation.

(1) Does the state government concede that these changes may further suppress wage growth by encouraging employers to recruit from a global pool of labour to compete with local workers?

(2) Why is the state government encouraging more foreign workers to WA when, according to a 2017 Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre report, 53 per cent of skilled migrants in WA said they were working in lower skilled jobs than before they arrived and also struggled with underemployment?

(3) In relation to these policy changes, did state government ministers meet at any time with the Australia China Business Council WA to discuss the graduate skilled migration list?

(4) Can the minister outline any other special interest groups involved in the consultation process?

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1)–(2) As previously outlined in the answer to question without notice 679 on 23 August 2018, the international graduate stream of the state-nominated migration program aims to attract the best and brightest international students to study at universities in the state by providing a pathway for eligible high-achieving graduates to attend the state's universities. Such highly skilled graduates will be complementary to the state's workforce by boosting the economy and helping to create jobs for Western Australians. There is significant evidence and research that demonstrates that highly qualified skilled migrants are readily employed upon graduation in highly skilled roles. The SNMP allocation represents only a small fraction of overall employment in Western Australia.

(3) The response to this part of the question will require me to consult my ministerial colleagues. I undertake to provide a response on 20 September 2018.

(4) The Department of Training and Workforce Development consulted with StudyPerth in the initial stages of developing the overarching strategy. Note that StudyPerth was not consulted on the compilation of the graduate occupation list.