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News News Migrant salaries lower than average wage for Aussies
AUSTRALIA'S latest wave of migrants are earning well below-average wages, despite most coming here on skilled visas.

New research found two-thirds of arrivals from non-English-speaking countries since 2001 earned less than $800 a week.

This is well below the average wage for Australian professionals, of $1400 a week, or $980 for tradesmen.

The Low Income Migrant Tide, published in Monash University's People and Place journal, found language problems were holding many migrants back.

"Many clearly are not achieving positions consistent with their professional or trade qualifications," author Dr Bob Birrell said.

"There seems little doubt that the minimum English language standards required . . . were far short of what is required by contemporary Australian employers."

The number of migrants entering Australia has exploded under the Howard Government, with more than 97,000 entering in 2005-06, compared to 53,520 in 2001-02.

The increase has been driven largely by the skills crisis, but Dr Birrell said the strategy was not working.

''The Coalition has tried to cover the deficiencies in its domestic skilled training programs by massively boosting the skilled migrant intake," he said.

"The findings of this study suggest that this solution is partial, at best."

The study, which looked at migrant men aged 25 to 44, found more than a third of those from non-English-speaking countries earned less than $400 a week.

Just 15 per cent of Australian-born men were on similar incomes.

Migrants from English-speaking countries did much better in finding well-paid jobs.


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