Western expat workers have been working in Australia’s most prestigious private sector jobs, but have found it hard to find work.
A new report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the number of people from overseas working in the private sector has risen by a record number since the federal government introduced the overseas workers scheme in 2015.
The number of overseas workers working in private sector roles rose by 2.9 per cent in the year to March 31, compared with the same period last year, the ABS said.
“The growth in overseas work has accelerated in recent years and is a reflection of a growing awareness of the need for overseas workers to be employed and supported in the Australian economy,” the ABS reported.
Many of the overseas work visas are for long-term contracts, including temporary visas, and some are for the same work as regular Australian workers, according to the report.
According to the ABS, the number is up slightly from the same time last year when the number was up 3.3 per cent.
Despite the growth in the number, the growth is slowing and the ABS report says there are still some gaps in the country’s employment market.
It said that despite the growth, employment opportunities for the expatriated workers are still small.
This is partly because the ABS data shows that overseas workers are in many cases working in very different positions to regular Australian employees, which makes it difficult to compare their working conditions.
Workers are also less likely to be promoted to higher-level positions than regular Australian staff, with the proportion of employees in the lowest job category being up by 1.4 per cent, the report said.
Foreigners are often required to prove they have the right skills and experience to enter the Australian workforce, but the ABS does not have enough data to provide any clear statistics on that, the agency said.
There are also concerns that the Government will not make any meaningful changes to the scheme unless more overseas workers start to show up.
More to come.