Improving Employment Outcomes for Professionally Skilled Migrants

Mr John van Kooy3

3AMES Australia, Melbourne, Australia

Australia’s migrants are highly skilled – 56% of migrants aged 25-34 have a university qualification compared to 30% of people raised in Australia.   However, there are limited resources to assist skilled arrivals to secure employment commensurate with their skills and qualifications.  AMES Australia’s Skilled Professional Migrant Program (SPMP) aims to assist professional migrants to find employment in professional fields, including matching participants with volunteer mentors who work in relevant industries and occupations. Evaluation of this program indicated a positive effect with 84% of participants securing work within 12 months of completing the program.  This presentation will describe an analysis of 650+ SPMP participants’ experiences of finding suitable employment and the impact of this employment on their economic security, settlement experiences and sense of wellbeing. Moreover, it will show how evidence from this research provides policy makers with recommendations about novel early intervention strategies and programs to assist these new arrivals into the labour market.


John van Kooy is a Research and Policy Project Lead at AMES Australia. He has spent the last decade working as a research and evaluation professional in the international community development and migrant settlement in Australia, Asia and Africa.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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