Canberra urges students to stay28 February 2016 by News Desk
Foreign students in Canberra are being urged to stay and work in the city after they graduate in order to boost the cities' population.
The government of Canberra has urged foreign students to stay and wants them to work for companies and government departments in the city.
Canberra is currently Australia’s second least popular destination for migrants despite being the country’s federal government capital. Experts say a lack of private sector jobs and strict requirements for public service work are deterring potential migrants.
“Canberra is a fantastic place to live and work,” says Darrell Todd, CEO of thinkingaustralia. “You can earn more, live better and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.”
Chief Minister Andrew Barr says he wants the city’s population to grow six-fold in coming years. But the only way to achieve this is by attracting migrants.
“State governments in other capital cities take temporary migrants as employees on the 457 visa program but the Australian government does not,” says Darrell Todd.
“Workers that come to the country on a temporary visa most often move on to permanent employment. It is time the government changed its’ rules to allow temporary migrants to work in the civil service.”
86,024 migrants were living in Canberra in 2011 according to the last census, making up 25.3% of the population. This compares to Sydney (39 per cent), Perth (37 per cent) and Melbourne (35 per cent). The national average is 26 per cent. Hobart had the least with 15 per cent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. British-born residents made up the largest group (16,033) of migrants. Last year 1,552 migrants were granted a skilled visa to move permanently to the ACT.
With record numbers of overseas students at the cities’ universities more must be done to encourage students to stay and work after they graduate. The University of Canberra had 3,169 international students enrolled in 2015 (20 per cent of the total student population).
And in 2016 the city will be home to more than 9,000 overseas students. But a lack of suitable jobs will continue to discourage students to stay on after graduation and is also deterring potential migrants.
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