A Chinese Migrant Finding Work In Australia
In November 2004, I was called on to provide some recruitment services for a friend and was very fortunate to interview Ms Tracy Nee. Unfortunately Tracy was not selected for the position, but since then, she has kept in touch, keeping me updated on her progress and even sending me an electronic Christmas Card.
I then asked if she had found work and also suggested that she read a report that Sara Rodrigues had written: ‘An analysis of the Skilled Independent Visa Migrant’. Tracy read the report and printed below is some of the email correspondence that has been exchanged. This is her story…
22 December 2004
Thank you for your kind concern. I should say yes. I got a job in Geelong. Actually, I don’t really want to take this job. But the boss agrees they will also try to arrange my husband a position. Since my husband has more difficulties with job hunting, it is better we try this way. I just come back from Geelong 5 mins ago and found a small flat there. I will move in on 4th January by myself firstly and start working straight away. My plan is to learn and develop myself as soon as possible and as much as possible in this position and I feel so hungry to learn everything. That is our current situation. We are also considering a trip in the coming holiday. It seems we never take a break from the pressure of finding a job since we arrived in Australia. And hope you have a happy Christmas Holiday! Regards, Tracy
23 December 2004
Hi Sara, I am Tracy, a migrant from China. My husband and I came to Australia in this March. I was so lucky to meet Sue Ellson in one interview and then she kindly introduced me the Newcomers Network and your impressive report.
Your report really gives a thorough picture of new migrant’s start in Australia and does inspire me to say something about migrants from China. It is a pity I cannot read the percentage of Chinese migrant maybe because of the font color.
I was told an official analysis from a China organisation shows 80% of migrants from China finally go back to China. I did not read this figure by myself but it is really too high.
The main problems Chinese migrants encounter here are – first, language barrier (we are a non-English speaking country); second, lack of local knowledge and work experience meanwhile we do not know where to start without necessary help.
And there is another important reason particularly for Chinese migrants: most independent skill migrants from China already have high social positions and high income in China, plus China is developing so fast and in some way their life there is much more easier and happier than in Australia. Therefore when they find their skills and even themselves are difficult to be accepted here in Australia, definitely they will choose to go back to China.
Recently, the Australian government also starts to realise it is a big loss since most Chinese skill migrants cannot find a job in their field. This is the reality for Chinese migrants. However, if we are planning seriously to settle down here, according to my own experience, the most important thing is how much we get ourselves prepared inside. Is our heart strong enough to prove that you deserve Australia’s acceptance to a certain extent? In this case, among the Government, society or Australian people, and us (migrants), I think we ourselves play the key role.
And the fact is we Asian migrants will encounter much more difficulties than migrants from western countries as well migrants from non-English speaking countries like China will have more problems than those from English-speaking countries.
By the way, I just got a job in Geelong and will start on 4th January. I will be so happy to meet all newcomers there. And I will be also very happy to meet you. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Regards, Tracy Nee
31 December 2004 – News Flash
Dr Melissa Permezel leads one of the syndicates of the Future Focus Group of the Committee for Melbourne that recently won the $15,000 Tattersall’s Innovation Award for the ‘Engaging Melbourne’s Skilled Migrants Project.’
In the research phase, Dr Permezel contacted Sue Ellson, Founder of Newcomers Network. Ms Ellson suggested that the project partner with the Overseas Qualification Unit of the Department of Victorian Communities and the Given the Chance Mentoring Program for Asylum Seekers and Refugees created by the Brotherhood of St Laurence.
‘Skilled Migrants may be able to do a job, but they do not always have the skills to find a job. If they begin an alternative career just to earn a living, this can lead to ‘brain waste’ rather than ‘brain gain’ said Ms Ellson.
The Joint Standing Committee on Migration in March 2004 reported that nearly half the economic migrants were not satisfied with their jobs and they did not feel settled until they were employed in jobs related to their experience. This usually took up to 18 months.
Dr Permezel believes that this new model could also be used by returning Australian Expatriates. ‘But we would like to start with similarly skilled people from a different cultural, linguistic and/or religious background to encourage an understanding of differences and the value of cultural diversity because this will enhance our own abilities, businesses and contributions to the City.’