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Students are required to research and write a critical essay on a current government social policy of their choice (examples can include a specific family policy, a workplace policy, a migration policy, an education policy , a crime policy, a drug or alcohol policy etc.). Students should choose a specific policy and NOT discuss the broad categories of policies.

The background discussion should include relevant theory and should address the rationale for the policy and the way the policy was formulated and implemented.

Based on their knowledge and research about what social policy is meant to achieve and drawing on wider research on policies in other jurisdictions, students should critically assess the successes and failures of this policy. Finally, students should make recommendations that would allow this policy to have more successful outcomes

Background discussion and integration of theory

Discussion and critical assessment of the policy

Suggestions and recommendations for how this policy could

have been more successfully implemented

Word count, readability, and structure

In-text references and reference list, accuracy and use of

correct referencing style

This essayi will incorporate a formal introduction, main points and conclusion; as this is an essay, the introduction and conclusion, as well as individual paragraphs addressing different issues should not be flagged with subheadings, but incorporated in the essay.

The work must be fully referenced with in-text citations and a reference list at the end.

We recommend you work with your Academic Writing Guide to ensure that you reference correctly.You will find a link to this document on the main page of every unit, under the 'Assessments'section. Correct academic writing and referencing are essential tasks that you need to learn. Werecommend a minimum of ten references.

Background and Relevant Theory of Skilled Immigration Policy

The skilled immigration has been instrumental in shaping immigration sector and also been at the center of criticism. Australia has the global biggest skilled immigration program shaped by the skilled immigration policy. The yearly entrance of skilled overseas employees accounts for 1 percent of populace in Australia, as well as even a greater percentage the skilled workforce. In spite the prospective struggle with skilled immigrants, in the last thirty years, Australia has faced wage increase, as well as returns to higher education incomparable in any other industrialized nation (Colic-Peisker, 2010). Yet, the labor outcomes for several foreign-educations immigrants are considerable besides obstinately beneath those of relatively educated immigrants. The prevalence of skill divergence (over-education) amongst university-educated overseas employees in Australia is as lofty as 40-50 percent against 10-20 percent amongst domestic employees, putting the country on identical balance with nations, which do not execute selective immigration policies (Hawthorne, 2005). The paper will investigate the formulation and implementation of skilled immigration policy in Australia, the success and failure of the policy and finally recommendations.

Skilled immigration policy in Australia has played an important role in shaping migration that has been an issue in Australia for more than five decades. Australia’s dependence on migration for population along with the workforce growth has been substantial for many years. The changing patterns, comprising the skill levels of migrants are vital matters for the labor market and the vocational education and training (VET) segment that is the primary source of skilled labor supply  (Dequiedt & Zenou, 2013). Thus, if migrant skills are fields of shortage, then immigration is probable to redress the imbalance between labor supplies beside demand without affecting local wages too much. Skilled migration policy has been at the heart of the Australian migration agenda to ensure that there is balance in skilled and unskilled labor in the country and there have been many reforms to promote skilled migration policy. In Australia, it is approximated that up to 40 percent of immigrants are over-educated that make it hard to get proper employment (Doherty, 2018). The national identity theory of immigration policy offers a better understanding of the skilled immigration program in Australia. The policy underscores that lack of national coordination between employment policies and immigration that call for urgent measures to address this challenge brought by ineffective skilled immigration policies.  

The skilled immigration policy was created to shape Australia’s economy and social spheres since it attracts more skilled migrants that supply to the economy of the nation. The policy has revolutionized the country’s immigration policy, where it has become an important tool for the government to advance its economy and ensure that major industries benefit from the immigrants that are attracted by the policy.

Since the introduction of the point test-based policy in 1979, skilled component of the total immigration has been growing in absolute, as well as relative terms. This period marked a model change in immigration policies in Australia plus increasingly powerful stress on skilled immigration that was designed to service the economy in addition to a large-scale outsourcing of production to overseas nations. The development and reforms of the skilled immigration policy was evident during the 1980s onwards that has increased a “multi-cultural middle class” (MMC) in Australia. In 1996, the newly nominated government introduced many noteworthy changes to reform the skilled immigration policy that affected some visa groups in skill along with household reunification streams (Bertoli, Dequiedt & Zenou, 2016). The novel policy eliminated the social security advantage for new immigrations during the initial two years following their entrance and admission to the Adult Migrant English Program, where its expenses were to be footed by the immigrant and labor marketplace programs, where expenses were to be prepaid after getting a job. The new policy introduced extra points for occupations that were in demand and degree-level specific rather than generic qualifications, as well as bonus points for qualifications obtained lately in Australia (Jasso & Rosenzweig, 2009). Furthermore, the new policy introduced in 1996, pre-migration prerequisite screening was efficiently outsourced to expert agencies that could now disqualify Non-English Speaking Background (NESB) candidates from eligibility for skillfulness immigration. Furthermore, to strengthen the new policy, Australia introduced primary skilled migration reforms in 1999 that was designed to shape the skilled immigration policy in the country. This was tailored to “select for success” from prospective skilled applicant through national research evidence (Hawthorne, 2005).

Rationale, Formulation, and Implementation

From 1996, the equilibrium of eternal migration in the country has shifted from household to skilled that has reduced the past shortage of skilled labor in Australia (McKay, 2009). This is possible as consecutive regimes try to bind migration more intimately to the requirements of the labor markets that have been possible through different reforms on the policy. In addition, impermanent migration to Australia has increased sharply in the past twenty years, hugely via two routes-international students, as well as short-term work visas (457). Thus, the number of foreign learners has more increased since 1996, from around113,500 annually to over 341,000. This trend has been possible through the numerous reforms in the skilled immigration policy by the different Australian governments (Dohertyv& Evershed, 2018).

Therefore, skilled immigration policy has been seen to bring into Australia skilled immigrants that contribute to the economy of the country. The skilled immigrants in the country through the policy have been found to economically active, where they become taxpayers other than a “load to the taxpayer”. The immigrants upon entering Australia attain economic independence as they get jobs or start business. The skilled immigration policy has been tailored to attract skilled migrants that will benefit the country. According to Moraga (2011), eliminating low-skill migrants in support of skilled migrants cannot only “safeguard” the host nation’s welfare system plus address its home employers’ requirements; however, too provide an automatic tool to steady revenue disparity trends amid skilled along with unskilled native employees (Moraga, 2011). This has been attributed to the fact that the income growth of skilled migrants will be controlled (since their will be abundant for them), while unskilled (resident) employees would be a shorter in terms of supply and hence, would demand higher wages.

In addition, the skilled immigration policy has been strict that will ensure that it safeguards the interest of natives that have the same skills as their overseas colleagues with the same skills. The policy has had a profound effect in ensuring that the immigrants coming to the country only get jobs that the Australians do no have rather than displacing Australians with same skills. The policy has ensured that the Australians are given the first priority in jobs that that will pressure on house prices through abolishing 457 visas that attract temporary foreign employees, especially the immigrants (Doherty, B. (2018).  

It is evident that there has been trend to believe that the Australian skilled immigration policy has been failing to address the balance in the labor sector. The Australia’s skilled migration policy has assisted the country to attract millions of exceedingly eligible migrants since 1988. Nevertheless, despite the success, one aspect of the skilled immigration policy is that it seems it wastes many of the sills in the country. It is estimated that up to around 40 percent of latest immigrants in Australia are over-educated, which makes difficult to these immigrants suitable to find appropriate employment. Thus, this is nearly four times the level of over-education seen in native-born Australians (Hawthorne, 2008). The challenge is the absence of coordination between the Australia’s migration system as well as employment policies that has negatively affected the success of the skilled immigration policy in Australia. The current migration arrangement is committed to supplying immigrants to apparent labor marketplace skill deficiencies; however, job policies pay less consideration to receiving the most out of each migrant. Consequently, the country will have skill shortage along with qualified migrants who are not able to fill these vacancies. This will happen since, for instance, these immigrants do not have suitable Australian experience (Colic-Peisker, 2010).

Critical Assessment of the Policy: Successes

In addition, this is a subject not only for the immigrants in Australia-who are under-utilized as workers-but for the rest of the Australians too. The state gets less tax revenue than it or else could have from migrants that has impacts for public funding, consumption, as well as investment costs. These failures have been attributed to skilled immigration policy that has not addressed these challenges through inadequate reforms. Also, Australia’s skilled migration policy has continued to favor immigrants with specific characteristics that are youthful, university-educated, as well as English-speaking (Antecol, Cobb-Clark & Trejo, 2003). The country through the skilled immigration policy still admits individuals who do not have these characteristics; however, streams, which are not directly inspired by economics, for instance, through family reunification or humanitarian visas. Hence, the present skilled immigration policy may result in mismatches amid the skills accessible in the marketplace along with those that employers really require. One probable rationale is the delay between the time employers notify immigration authorities regarding the skills they most require (or require in the prospect) and when immigrants penetrate the labor marketplace that might be years afterward (Colic-Peisker, 2009).

Furthermore, studies has demonstrated that skills are repeatedly wasted due to the skilled immigration policy in which highly skilled migrants are limited by different structural plus frequently compelled to settle for jobs below their qualifications. The policy recognizes NESB migrants to be element of workforce in Australia, which has the most challenges attaining employment status that matches their educational qualifications, as well as is worse off than both the Australian-born and Anglophone (ESB) migrants (Aydemir, 2011).

The skilled immigration policy can be strengthened through effective coordinating immigration and employment. Addressing the gap in the policy requires tight coordination between immigration along with employment policies. The current skilled immigration policy is presently informed by employers (who say what skills are required); however, ultimately emphasizes on population management. The coordination between the country’s immigration and employment polices will function to lower the skill wastage brought by the policy issue. For instance, data on employment results of latest immigrants can be compared to skill shortages recognized by potential employers in Australia, where it may be undertaken jointly by an immigration-employment committee (McGuinness, 2006). This is important since it will identify the gravest cases of immigrant over-education. Thus, these reasons can be pinpointed (whether it is due to several skilled immigrants, skill of poor quality, or the absence of demand), as well as solutions tailored. Therefore, employing these data, Australian immigration along with the employment policies may comprise targets connected to immigrant’s skills. This will rebalance the present focus of both immigration and employment policies so that the country may adequately utilize all the resources to promote skilled immigration policy (Green, Kler & Leeves, 2007).

Another recommendation is to develop state-sponsored employment advisory services, information session along with short courses for skilled along with structural settler immigrants to address inadequacies in the policy. Currently, the skilled immigrants are left to the labor market forces, where they get informed regarding Australian-style job search and get important tips from sparse government tips or through their extended family or friends presently in Australia. Skilled immigrant advisory services, information sessions along with short courses may be designed jointly with professional bodies along with migrant bodies. This will fundamentally address the current flaws in the skilled immigration policy in Australia. In addition, it could be feasible to be organized such employment help with scarce resources from the state via engaging other concerned stakeholders (Cerna, 2009).


Despite the success that the skilled immigration policy in Australia has brought, there is the need to reform the policy to address the current imbalance in skills. Since 1988, when the point-based system was established, the country has been in the front position to design immigration policies, which are accustomed to the requirements of the labor marketplace. Skilled immigration policy has concentrated on attracting immigrants who can be instantly employed. However, this has been found to result in waste of skills in levels the same to those nations, which do not implement selective immigration policies. Therefore, better coordination between employment policies and immigration will adequately shape the skilled immigration policy in Australia.


Antecol, H., Cobb-Clark, D.A. & Trejo, T.J. (2003). Immigration policy and the skills of immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States. Journal of Human Resources, 38(1):192-218.

Aydemir, A. (2011). Immigrant selection and short-term labor market outcomes by visa category. Journal of Population Economics, 24(2): 451-475.

 Bertoli, S., Dequiedt, V. & Zenou, Y. (2016). Can selective immigration policiesreduce migrants' quality? Journal of Development Economics, 119(2): 100-109.

 Cerna, L. (2009). The varieties of high-skilled immigration policies: coalitions and policy outputs in advanced industrial countries. Journal of European Public Policy. 16 (1): 144- 161.

Colic-Peisker, V. (2009). Visibility, settlement success and life satisfaction in three refugee communities in Australia. Ethnicities. 9(2): 175-199

Colic-Peisker, V. (2010). Australian immigration and settlement in the 21st century: who comes in and how do they fare in the labour market? TASA 2010, Macquarie University, Sydney.

Dequiedt, V. & Zenou, Y. (2013). International migration, imperfect information, and brain drain. Journal of Development Economics, 102: 62-78.

Doherty, B. & Evershed, N. (2018). The changing shape of Australia's immigration policy. The Guardian. Retrieved from 

Doherty, B. (2018). Australia's move to restrict migrant intake reflects broader global trend. The Guardian. Retrieved from

Green, C., Kler, P & Leeves, G. (2007). Immigrant overeducation: Evidence from recent arrivals to Australia. Economics of Education Review, 26(4): 420–432.

Hawthorne, L. (2005). “Picking Winners”: The Recent Transformation of Australia’s Skilled Migration Policy. International Migration Review. 39(3):663-696.

Hawthorne, L. (2008). The Impact of Economic Selection Policy on Labor Market Outcomes for Degree-Qualified Migrants in Canada and Australia. Choices. 14(5):1-50.

Jasso, G & Rosenzweig, M.R. (2009). Selection criteria and the skill composition of immigrants: A comparative analysis of Australian and US employment immigration (153-183) in Jagdish Bhagwati and Gordon H. Hanson (eds.), Skilled Migration Today: Prospects, Problems, and Policies. New York: OxfordUniversity Press.

McGuinness, S. (2006). Overeducation in the labour market. Journal of Economic Surveys, 20(3): 387-418.

McKay, S. (2009). Refugees, Recent Migrants and Employment: Challenging Barriers and Exploring Parthways. New York, London: Routledge.

Moraga, J. (2011). New evidence on emigrant selection. Review of Economics and Statistics, 93(1): 72-96.

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