Two Steps Back, Three Steps Forward: The Story of South African Migrants Working in Australia
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Skilled migration has become a targeted and intentional instrument by a number of countries in an attempt to ensure skill sufficiency and as a driver of continued economic growth and development. Although countries like the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia have been able to attract significant numbers of skilled migrants through a combination of pull factors, not the least of which government regulations, this has not always translated into the optimal recognition and use of the human capital of the migrants. Since some literature argues a separation between social and economic integration, special attention to the integration of migrants into the workforce is justified. In order to assess the integration though it is crucial to understand the demographics, experience and phases that migrants go through when settling in a new work environment. This paper reports the narrative of South African migrants establishing themselves in the Australian workforce. It determines that this group of migrants seems to predominantly experience aspects of integration in the labour force as reported in other literature, confirming the validity of earlier research while providing a picture of individual and specific challenges and experiences.
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