Archive for » August, 2013 «

School leavers competing with influx of backpackers for work

A recent study by the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Monash University has found that Australia now has 1 foreign backpacker for every Year 12 school leaver – all competing for entry-level jobs in retailing, construction and hospitality.

WORK-hungry backpackers are flocking Down Under to work in record numbers, and competing for jobs with local school-leavers.

New immigration data reveals a one-third surge in the number of foreigners granted “working holiday” visas since the start of the global financial crisis.

The Immigration Department issued a record 249,231 backpacker visas during 2012/13, latest official data shows.

Three times as many young backpackers from China, Italy and Taiwan were granted visas during 2012/13 than at the start of the global financial crisis in 2008/09.

Backpacker numbers have jumped 52 per cent from France, 29 per cent from Germany and 15 per cent from the UK.

The visas are popular with employers in regional areas, who rely on foreign backpackers to pick fruit, work on farms, clean hotels, pour beers and wait tables.

But the university study claims the working holiday-makers, aged 18 to 30, are taking entry-level jobs that could go to Australian school leavers.

“(Backpackers) coming from these countries are not the traditional holiday and work seekers, but rather job-hungry migrants anxious to maximise their income from work here,” the report says.

“In effect, the Australian economy is acting as a safety valve for the youth unemployment problems of other countries, at the expense of its own young people’s employment prospects.”

Australia now hosts nearly half a million working-age migrants who have arrived since 2011 on permanent or temporary visas.

“Recently arrived migrants …. are dominating the growth in the number of employed persons in Australia,” the report says.

“Young people have to compete for less skilled entry-level work with an increasing number of job-hungry temporary migrants looking for the same work.”

The report says the number of recently-arrived migrants of working age jumped by 168,700 during the 12 months to May this year – and 108,200 were working.

New migrants accounted for 85 per cent of the 126,900 total increase in the number of workers in Australia during the year.

“This means that almost all of the recent net growth in employment is attributable to recently-arrived migrants,” the report says.

The report says 14.5 per cent of 15-to-19-year-old jobseekers, and 9.4 per cent of those aged 20-24 were unemployed in May, compared to 5.6 per cent in the general population.

Backpackers from 29 nations can work in Australia for up to a year, so long as they do not spend more than six months with each employer.

Those who spend at least three months working in a remote area can apply to stay for a second year.

Australian backpackers can also work overseas in the same countries, under reciprocal agreements.

Argentina and Uruguay were added to the working holiday program this year, and the federal government is negotiating with 13 more countries including Greece, Spain, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Israel and Vietnam.

Four Australian cities in the world’s top 10

The Economist Intelligence Unit has just released the results of its annual ‘Global Liveability Survey’.

140 cities worldwide were surveyed under five categories:

  • stability
  • healthcare
  • culture and environment
  • education
  • infrastructure.

Scores in each category and sub-category are compiled and weighted to give a total out of 100. 100 is considered ideal and 1 intolerable.

The top cities and indeed much of the rankings remained similar to last year, with Australian and New Zealand cities landing five of the top 10 spots. Canadian cities made up another three of the top 10 positions.

Top 10 most livable cities (unchanged in 2013 from 2012):

1 Melbourne, Australia, 97.5
2 Vienna, Austria, 97.4
3 Vancouver, Canada, 97.3
4 Toronto, Canada, 97.2
5 Calgary, Canada, 96.6
5 Adelaide, Australia, 96.6
7 Sydney, Australia, 96.1
8 Helsinki, Finland, 96.0
9 Perth, Australia, 95.9
10 Auckland, New Zealand, 95.7

Australia tops expat Quality of Life Index

The Latest ‘Quality of Life’ report was released this week by Natwest International Personal Banking and as last year, Australia has retained it’s number one ranking.

The sixth annual survey of British expatriates revealed 80% of expats believe they enjoy a better quality of life living abroad.

Over the past five years, Australia, Canada and New Zealand topped the Quality of Life Index (provided by the Centre for Future Studies).

For expats who have chosen to live abroad on a permanent basis, over 70% feel their work/life balance is good to excellent and over 85% believe their standard of living is tops.

Brits who emigrated to Australia are on top of the world as Australia is judged to have all that’s needed for a healthier, wealthier and happier life.

Over 80% of British expats in Australia cite the natural environment and quality of life for their children as the number one reason for moving there.

The global Quality of Life study of British expatriate opinions and attitudes on lifestyle, employment and financial status reveals 84% British expats in Australia say the weather is one of the top five reasons for living there and 92% percent of expats cite the overall lifestyle keeps them in Australia.

73% of expats, their health has improved whilst living there.

British expats in Australia are financially confident and, whilst some restrictions exist, find buying a property attractive and relatively easy.

71% own a property (compared to the global expat average of only 33%).

While the majority of people say that the improved quality of life is their main motivation for staying, the lower cost of living is a factor too with the majority rating their cost of living as very good.

In July 2012, Australia marked 21 years without a recession, an achievement unmatched by almost any other developed country.

Dave Isley, Head of NatWest International Personal Banking, comments: “It seems life down under really is the cream of the crop according to this year’s NatWest IPB Quality of Life Index. Continual sunshine coupled with a strong economic stability make Australia the perfect destination for Brits to set up home. Factors such as an efficient health care system, low crime rates, a clean environment, good education, civic engagement, and a longer-than-average life expectancy also factored in the high scoring.”

UK expats in Oz – The majority of expats (74%) are in professional/managerial occupations while 19% are self-employed professionals and 28% have taken up clerical positions.

Brisbane has recently overtaken Perth as the most popular migration destination in Australia and has the fastest-growing population of all Australian cities.

Other Countries
This year sees New Zealand fall out of the top three to fifth position with the third ranking being taken by UAE. Career opportunities are the key driver for expats heading to UAE (75%). Only 8% of respondents believe they will stay in UAE for ever with the majority (92%) consider themselves as on ‘temporary assignment’. A large disposable income is enjoyed by 96% of those living in UAE, Hong Kong, China and Singapore on a temporary basis.

Singapore is increasingly attracting expats particularly those from the UK and Europe. Singapore has built a reputation for offering a good quality of life, as well as a range of interesting career opportunities. Expats living in Singapore have higher average incomes and greater wealth than expats living anywhere else in the world.