The jobseeking experiences of skilled migrants in Australia: an exploration of occupational mobility outcomes

Tennakoon, D 2018, The jobseeking experiences of skilled migrants in Australia: an exploration of occupational mobility outcomes, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Management, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title The jobseeking experiences of skilled migrants in Australia: an exploration of occupational mobility outcomes
Author(s) Tennakoon, D
Year 2018
Abstract The success of migrant workers in the Australian labour market has been a persistent theme of discussion in the Australian research and policy landscape for decades. The extant literature suggests a level of migrant disadvantage for skilled migrants from non English-speaking backgrounds (NESB) compared to their mainly English-speaking background (MESB) counterparts. However, these explanations have divided between structural and agency-oriented perspectives, consequently impacting the understanding of the complex interplay of structural and agential concerns of occupational mobility conditioned by the dynamics of contemporary labour markets. This research seeks to understand the interplay of structure and agency in shaping the jobseeking experiences of NESB skilled migrants in Australia. The mixed-method research is underpinned by the meta-theoretical approach of critical realism and uses the Continuous Survey of Australia's Migrants (CSAM) quantitative secondary data and qualitative semi-structured interviews with NESB skilled migrants in Australia. The quantitative phase identified that the NESB skilled migrants experience some downward occupational mobility in finding work commensurate with the skill levels of their nominated occupations. Further, visa sponsorship categories and gender were also found to influence their employment outcomes. The qualitative phase revealed (a) further evidence to existing occupational mobility barriers; (b) some emergent occupational mobility barriers/facilitators; and (c) skilled migrants' agential responses to the identified occupational mobility barriers and facilitators. This research has contributed to the development of theory through its utilisation of critical realism as a methodological paradigm for migration research. Further, the findings inform research and policy through the identification of skilled migrants' responses to the changing Australian labour market via their constantly modifying agential projects.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Management
Subjects Business and Management not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) skilled migration
Australian migration
structure-agency interplay
critical realism
public policy
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Created: Thu, 07 Feb 2019, 09:41:30 EST by Keely Chapman
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