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Immigration and the Skills Gap – Australia vs US

Nearly seven out of 10 immigrants here [Australia] are accepted based on being able to do jobs in Australia flagfields such as engineering that the government and employers say there aren’t enough domestic workers to fill. In the United States—where technology companies in particular are sounding warnings about a similar skills gap they say is contributing to a near-record 5.6 million job openings—the proportion of immigrants admitted for their skills is less than two in 10. For advanced professional skills, the number is about one in 17, the Department of Homeland Security reports. The rest are relatives of people already here, plus refugees and asylum-seekers.“We are not keeping pace with what the rest of the world is doing,” said Andy Halataei, senior vice president for government affairs at the US Information Technology Industry Council, which advocates for immigration reform to change this. “We don’t have a high-skilled immigration system that acts to attract international talent.

”That talent includes foreign students who are trained at and graduate from American colleges and universities only to confront a system critics variously describe as “absurd” and “utterly insane” that makes it all but impossible for most to stay. Students who come to Australia, by comparison, are allowed to stick around for 18 months to four years on temporary visas that, for many, lead to permanent citizenship.

“It’s one of the most absurd paradoxes of our system, that it is so easy to come here to the United States and get a world-class education, and then we immediately send you home to compete against us,” Halataei said. “No one would ever design a system like that.”

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  While Americans feud, Australia is stealing away immigrants with sought-after skills – Quartz

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