CCI strongly welcomes the State Government’s commitment to boosting WA’s international education sector.
The McGowan government announced last week it would introduce an additional graduate skilled migration list to attract the best global talent.
It will give high achieving education graduates – PhD, Masters, Honours and other higher degree graduates – a pathway to skilled migration, with the changes expected to attract an increased number of high-quality international students.
CCI CEO Chris Rodwell said introducing a graduate skilled migration list for advanced qualifications shows that the Government has listened to industry concerns and should be commended for taking appropriate action to boost our market share of international students.
“CCI has been calling for a change to State Government policy so that WA can attract more international students, to boost the State’s tourism sector and create many new local jobs in the process,” he said.
“International students don’t just choose their study destination based on academic opportunities. The perceived opportunities for employment after studying are critical to attracting students to WA.”
WA’s international student commencements declined 13 per cent in first quarter of 2018 compared with the same time two years ago. At the same time, two states that have traditionally struggled to gain significant increases – South Australia and Tasmania – saw increases of 9 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.
“The effect of this decline is far reaching across the WA economy, resulting in lost revenue for the tourism sector as well as the knowledge economy which supports student visitors,” Rodwell said.
“The new graduate skilled migration list will tell the world that WA not only welcomes international students to our world-class universities, but that we want them to make our great state their home.
“It will also put us on par with other Australian states which have similar programs.”
Friends and family of international students spent an estimated $1.17 billion in the Australia last year.
CCI will continue to work with the State Government to develop a long-term strategy to increase WA’s market share of international students.
“We encourage the Government to continue to assess the occupations on the WA Skilled Migration Occupation List in light of industry feedback that skills shortages are beginning to emerge from an increase in mining activity in WA,” Rodwell said.
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