Tasmania’s employment landscape has come under scrutiny as concerns arise over potential discrimination against people born overseas. The focus on this issue comes after a conversation with a job seeker, whom we will refer to as Ben, who shared his frustrations with the job application process in the region.
Ben stated, “I’ve applied for hundreds of jobs and never hear back from most of them. I am more than enough qualified. But all my friends who are born here don’t seem to have a problem. I wonder if using an Australian name would lead to better responses from potential employers, like the rest of my friends.”
According to the Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) 2022 released in February, there is a notable discrepancy in the full-time employment rate between local postgraduate students and international students. The GOS revealed that local postgraduate students enjoy an 89.4 per cent full-time employment rate, while their international counterparts lag behind with only 57.9 per cent.
In an attempt to shed some light on this issue, we reached out to employers in the area, however, none were willing to admit to any discriminatory practices against internationally born individuals. Nevertheless, it remains a matter of concern for many job seekers.
One possible reason for the disparity in hiring rates could be the lack of familiarity employers have with institutions outside of Australia, making it more challenging for them to trust the credentials of overseas-born applicants.
Ben expressed another concern, saying, “Maybe they believe that when I get my full residency, I will move away or to another state in Australia.”
Amidst these concerns, there is a silver lining in the overall employment force in Tasmania. The region has seen a rise in demand for employment opportunities across various sectors.
The latest data from Flinders University shows that total employment increased by 498 (0.2%) to 291,227 people. Over the past year, employment in Tasmania has seen a promising increase of 9,913 (3.4%). The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.0%, with total unemployment increasing by 68 (0.6%) to 12,032 people.
While Tasmania’s overall employment outlook is positive, there is a pressing need to address the challenges faced by individuals born overseas seeking employment opportunities in the region. Creating an inclusive and equitable job market is essential for Tasmania to continue its growth and development.