My good friend David Leyonhjelm had an op-ed in the AFR on Friday (reproduced below) where he makes the argument that Australia should have good quality migrants. This is one of the areas where I disagree with LDP policy – we should definitely have bad quality migrants. No … wait.
We hear this sort of argument all the time – but it is a strange argument for libertarians to be making. What is a good quality migrant? Obviously those Wits University graduates from South Africa are awesome. But after that? Definitely no Canadians.
But here is the thing – Australia does take good quality migrants.
The Skill stream accounted for 68.4 per cent of the total 2017–18 Migration Program outcome.
At the major group level of the Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), the top three major occupation groups for primary visa grants in the Skill stream were:
• Professionals (66.1 per cent),
• Technicians and Trades Workers (13.3 per cent)
• Managers (8.8 per cent).
Within the Skill stream:
• the Employer Sponsored category had an outcome of 35,528 places. It comprised 32.0 per cent of Skill stream outcomes, with 29,307 places (82.5 per cent) under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and 6221 places (17.5 per cent) under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS);
• General Skilled Migration (GSM) had an outcome of 68,111 places. GSM comprised 61.3 per cent of Skill stream outcomes;
• the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) had an outcome of 7260 places (6.5 per cent); and
• the Distinguished Talent category had an outcome of 200 places (0.2 per cent).
Over 2/3 of migrants are skilled – coming to boost the economy. Now you could argue that 100% should be skilled – okay – but the notion that we have to worry about the quality of the immigration is a furphy.