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Skilled migration has been a central pillar of migration policy in Australia, accounting for two thirds of all migration to Australia by the mid-2010s (Migration Council Australia 2015). In the fourteen years to 2017/18, for which data are available, 19,480 temporary skilled visa and 50,330 permanent skilled visa holders settled in South Australia alone.
This Economic Issues paper presents new analysis of data describing the employment experiences of skilled migrants to South Australia in the first half of this decade. The data was collected in 2015 by researchers at the Hugo Centre for Migration and Population Research (hereafter: Hugo Centre) at the University of Adelaide on behalf of the then South Australian Government Department of State Development (DSD). The research was commissioned to investigate migration outcomes of migrants sponsored or nominated in South Australia under the state’s General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa program between July 2010 and December 2014.
That period was of interest as it followed a time when South Australia participated in Concessional English provision, which granted applicants with lower than typically required English language skills (as measured in the International English Language Testing System, IELTS) access to visa subclasses 475 and 487, providing they met all other conditions. This concession was suspended in 2009.