by Luke Griffiths (in-business Magazine)

Statistics released this week show that South Australia is on track to reach its skilled nomination quota for the first time in years, with 1495 nominations already recorded for the 2014/15 financial year, but more detail is needed.

This figure is higher than the number of nominations that have been recorded at the same time over the past few years.

However, Migration Solutions managing director Mark Glazbrook is urging for the new figures to be put into perspective. He said while it is great news that South Australia finally looks like it will use its full allocation of nominations made available to it by the federal government, questions should be raised as to why we failed to reach this quota previously.

“It would also be helpful to find out what are the occupations that are being filled with these nominations,” he said.

“Are they, in fact, highly skilled jobs that are currently in shortage here in South Australia, or merely positions that were in demand and are still available due to an outdated skilled nominated occupations list?

“It is certainly good news, but until we see if there are highly skilled migrants from overseas, or simply an increase in international graduates, it is difficult to determine how beneficial these figures really are to the state’s economy.”

In 2013/14, 2226 skilled migrants and 130 new business migrants were nominated by the state government to relocate to South Australia, an increase from 1766 and 37 respectively in 2012/13.

“Attracting the best and brightest from around the world is critical to filling skills shortages and boosting economic activity and industry productivity,” Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith said.

“Migrants have the potential to bring a new set of skills, connections and international experiences that can help grow and modernise our economy.”

A world-leading expert in migration policy was in Adelaide last week and shared new insight into the future of migration.

Dr Demetrios Papademetriou, who is on a six-month sabbatical from the Migration Policy Institute in the US, is using his Australian trip to meet with policy makers and leaders in migration.

Dr Papademetriou is visiting Adelaide and Canberra at the invitation of the internationally recognised Professor Graeme Hugo, director of the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre at the University of Adelaide.

“He is an internationally renowned expert in migration and integration policy who provides high-level advice to senior government departments and officials across the world,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.

“It is extremely valuable to have someone with his expertise visiting our state, especially at a time when we continue to attract a high number of skilled and business migrants wanting to live and work in South Australia.”

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