Reforming international student visa pathways after graduation - Podcast

Australia faces stiff competition to attract the best students to study and stay in Australia. But a growing cohort of international students are being left behind on temporary visas, struggling to pursue their chosen careers.

Grattan’s latest report, Graduates in limbo: International student visa pathways after graduation, shows how government can fix visa pathways to give talented graduates a chance to shine, without offering false hope to students.

Associate Tyler Reysenbach, is joined by Program Director Brendan Coates and Deputy Program Director Trent Wiltshire, to talk about what the federal government can do to reform the graduate visa system.


Tyler Reysenbach: Australia faces stiff competition from overseas to attract the best students to study and stay in Australia. But current policy is letting them down. Our current visa settings are leaving behind a growing cohort of international students who struggle to pursue their chosen careers in Australia who linger on in the hope of one day being the lucky few who get a permanent visa.

The number of temporary graduate visa holders in Australia has doubled to nearly 200, 000 since 2019, and we estimate that number will double again by 2030. Recent decisions by the government make post study work rights even more generous, which will leave even more graduates stuck in visa limbo, with even worse prospects of ever securing permanent residency and adding further pressure to Australia’s already tight rental markets. The tough reality is, is that most international students who want to stay in Australia can’t. There are far more graduate visa holders and other temporary visa holders in Australia than permanent places available. Grattan’s latest report, Graduates in Limbo, International Student Visa Pathways After Graduation, shows how government can fix visa pathways to give talented graduates a chance to shine without offering so many others false hope.

My name is Tyler Reysenbach, and I’m a data analyst here at Grattan, and today I’m joined by my colleagues Brendan Coates and Trent Wiltshire to talk about why international graduates struggle so much and what government can do about it.

So set the scene for me. I’m an international student. I’ve just graduated from my bachelor’s in economics and I want to stay in Australia, hopefully to find a job and maybe one day to migrate permanently. What visas are available to me and what pathways am I going to take to get PR?

Trent Wiltshire: So that’s a, that’s a pretty simple one.

So if you did a Bachelor of Economics, you can get a two year temporary graduate visa. and there’s a couple of conditions attached. You have to speak confident English and be aged under 50. So you just pass those ones. that’s, that’s quite a simple one, but as we know in migration policy, nothing is simple.

There’s actually lots of different carve outs and different visas. So if you studied, a Masters, you’d actually get three years. post study work rights, if you studied, selection of degrees in… Health, IT, teaching that the government has nominated as being in shortage. You get that bonus two years as well.

So there’s different carve outs. As well, if you studied and lived in a regional area, you get an extra one to two years. So there’s lots of different graduate visas, but the most basic one is an existing two years.

Tyler Reysenbach: So just to summarise, it’s, I get a certain amount for whatever degree level I studied, and then I might get an extension depending on what I studied and where I studied, if in the regions.

Trent Wiltshire: That’s right. And unlimited working hours. Post, yeah, post your, um, your, uh, university degree. There’s also a vocational, vocational, one as well, which offers two years, sometimes 18 months, or previously was 18 months. So it’s, it’s quite complex. The pathways after that, again, also complex. the most simple or probably standard ones is you could move to a temporary skill shortage visa if you had two years of experience and earning above $70,000 or potentially straight to a permanent visa, either an employer sponsored one, or more likely a points tested permanent visa.

Tyler Reysenbach: And so I’ve graduated. I’m now, I’m now looking for my job. How am I doing? Do I, do I get a job? Do I find my dream job?

Trent Wiltshire: Unfortunately, no, that the stats for international graduates are pretty poor. labor market outcomes aren’t great. So we looked at a range of data, to sort of gather or see what their situation is.

It’s changed a bit since pre COVID and now, but the general story is that um, outcomes are worse than if you compare them to domestic graduates. So a few stats, so only half of international graduates secure full time employment. They’re unlikely to work in their chosen field, and they’re more likely to be working in a low skilled job than a domestic graduate.

So for example, 38 percent of employed temporary graduate visa holders worked in a job in the highest occupational skill level, compared to 58 percent of all 20 to 29 year olds, who had a bachelor’s degree or higher. So it’s improved a bit since, um, the last census, um, but still pretty poor.

Tyler Reysenbach: Yeah, and I think the stat that always stands out to me is one in four works and retail and hospitality. That’s more than you would expect.

Trent Wiltshire: That’s right. So the most common occupations, chefs and sales assistants for grad visa holders. And these are people who have got quite good qualifications. Earnings are also low. So on average, temporary graduate visa holders earn less than backpackers who are on a working holiday maker visa.

Tyler Reysenbach: And do we know why they do so badly?

Trent Wiltshire: Yeah, it’s quite an extensive list. So there’s lots of reasons. Graduates, international graduates face a lot of barriers to gaining a good job. So the first and the most significant one, um, is that employers are just reluctant to hire temporary visa holders in general and international graduates as well as part of that.

We conducted a survey in partnership with the Australian Association of Graduate Employers asking major graduate employers, mainly large companies, um, whether they employed temporary visa holders and if not, why not, and if they do, why, so less than half considered them in their, like in the most recent round, the main, the main finding was that they’re reluctant to hire international graduates because of their visa status and, and not just the temporary graduate visa, the ongoing or the likelihood of getting a, another temporary visa or a permanent visa.

There’s also a lack of understanding among these um, employers about the visa as well. On the graduate side, English language skills can be typically worse. And that harms employability. Poor quality of education is also an issue. So the Universities Accord has pointed it out that, you know, perhaps universities aren’t doing as good a job preparing grads as they could.

Weakened networks, lack of local work experience, and then finally discrimination against international graduates is a, is a factor. you know, it’s a problem in the broader labor market really too.

Tyler Reysenbach: So it sounds like there’s a lot of things going on there. but as you said, our main finding is it’s about that certainty after you finish on your temporary graduate visa.

Trent Wiltshire: Yeah, it’s the visa system as a whole. It’s really the main barrier.

Tyler Reysenbach: And I think one of the interesting findings from our report right is is that it shows that it’s a tough time to get PR. That certainty is getting worse. So our report shows that less than one third of temporary graduate visa holders now transition to a permanent residency when their visa expires.

This is down from two thirds in 2014, right? So, Brendan, unpack this for me. Why is it becoming so hard to actually get a permanent visa for this cohort?

Brendan Coates: Look, it’s basically a matter of simple arithmetic. So, you’ve got 500, 000 student visas granted each year. In fact, it’s more than that this year.

You’ve got growing numbers of students that are here. So, you know, last year, or this current year, we issued, I think, 180, 000 temporary graduate visas. So you’ve got 500, 000 students coming in, you imagine a giant filter, then there’s 180, 000 that are getting the temporary graduate visa, but there’s only 130, 000 places in the skilled migration system, in the permanent, permanent visas that are on offer.

And that’s obviously not just for students. That’s for people that come, you know, studied abroad, maybe a mid career come to Australia. So we’re only offering 130, 000 and so it’s a matter of simple arithmetic. You know, you mentioned the, the, the statistic that in the past, most people got permanent skilled visas.

If you were on that temporary graduate visa, you know, there was only 40, 000 temporary graduate visas issued or in, you know, a few years ago, now that number is 180, 000. So there’s just less, fewer places available for those permanent skilled visas, which means that it’s harder for any individual migrant to get one.

Tyler Reysenbach: And so why can’t we just raise the number of places for permanent places if it’s so hard to get?

Brendan Coates: Well, we could. So, you know, you, you could raise the number of places. And in fact, the government has reoriented where they’re offering those permanent skilled visas. Programs like the business investment in innovation program that was about trying to get, um, you know, wealthy investors to come to Australia.

That’s been scaled down, which is something Grattan supported. And they’ve in fact allocated more places to points tested visas. So essentially where we assess how many points you have, and that’s who we give those skilled visas to. It’s a rationing device. Yeah. They’re more likely to go to students.

But the reason why we can’t really increase the numbers is that the increase that would be needed is impractical. Yeah. So if you wanted to give every student the prospect who wanted to stay there, the opportunity to get a skilled visa once they graduated. You know, you would have to substantially increase the number of places.

And in the very act of increasing the number of permanent skilled visas available, you would probably encourage further students to come to Australia. Now, there are different views about what the optimal size of the intake is, of the migrant intake. Migration obviously has costs in areas like housing.

There’s certainly an infrastructure. There are, you know, concerns at the moment. The rental market’s pretty tight. But it seems pretty unlikely that a government’s going to increase the number of permanent places available to accommodate every student that wants to stay to be able to do so.

Trent Wiltshire: So they did increase it, you know, it was 160, 000 a few years ago, boosted to 195, 000 in 22 23, but that’s back to 190, 000 in 23 24.

So yeah, it’s a little bit of an increase, but yeah, nowhere near big enough that everyone who’s here on a graduate visa could get PR.

Tyler Reysenbach: I think the other aspect in that is, is If you’re going to increase the number of places, why are we giving them to people who are in Australia versus outside Australia?

Like, why does being in Australia give you some extra right to come to Australia later on, right?

Brendan Coates: That’s exactly right. Like, there are huge benefits from getting those permanent, selecting the best people for those permanent skilled places. You know, when we have these conversations about migration, we are talking about human beings.

Everyone makes a contribution to Australia. But the purpose of that skilled migration program that gives you the right to stay permanently is who is going to give, make the biggest contribution in the longterm. We’re trying to ration those places to get the best potential outcomes we can for the number of places that we offer.

Tyler Reysenbach: And so, so to cycle back down to this graduate visa, we’ve got the fixed permanent number, and then we also have our growing number of international students stuck in limbo. Why, why is that a bad thing? If people are coming here, they want to stay in Australia, they want to work on a temporary visa, why can’t we just let them come and stay?

Trent Wiltshire: Yeah, it’s a great question. It’s something I think we as a team have done a lot of thinking about for this report, but also in previous migration work, because it’s a, It’s a challenging one. For the individual, often it might be a good result. They’re here, they’re working, perhaps earning quite a bit more than they would back at home, so from an individual perspective, for some people, it might be a good result.

But if we think broadly, there are some significant downsides to the situation of people being in limbo, or as the government has put it, um, permanently temporary migrants. And as we show in the report, that number, the number of people in that situation is likely to grow quite a lot over the years.

But first, you know, why is it bad? Well, it can be bad for the migrants themselves. So it’s unethical to offer false hope to someone, that they might get permanent residency when it’s unlikely, and it’s going to get even more unlikely as well. So people will come here, they could get a lot of their life, they put down roots.

They think they’re a chance to get PR, but if it’s, you know, very unlikely, it’s very hard to send them home once, you know, Australia has become their home. So we think as a matter of ethics, that’s important. we just mentioned before, you know, the, the labor market outcomes of international graduates are poor.

Research shows that if you have, if you start off your career badly, perhaps in a poor labor market or, you know, things affect you and you’re not working, you know, in a job where you’ve studied or something like that. What’s known as scarring that can affect your, you know, long term earnings, and that also has a broader impact on the migration program.

Brendan, as you just talked about, you know, the skilled program is really important to the, the benefits to Australia. If people are migrating permanently that are affected by this scarring, the benefits aren’t going to be as big. another one is that temporary graduate visa holders, probably more desperate, to get a job, more vulnerable to exploitation, also not eligible for social security.

So less of a fallback. That’s something we talked about in our previous report on migrant work exploitation. But there are broader effects too. So surveys show that Australians are generally distrusting or they don’t like temporary migration. So. A large pool of temporary migrants with little prospect of PR probably erodes trust in the migration system.

Post study work rights, potentially in the long term, could actually erode trust or, lead to a damaged reputation for our higher education system. So international education, really important export. Post study work rights are an attraction for a lot of people to come and study here. But if it’s too generous, and there’s a lot of people that are here, disenchanted, go back home, that actually may have the opposite effect.,

Tyler Reysenbach: Yeah, it’s hardly an advertising point if you come here and get exploited at 7 11 for four years.

Trent Wiltshire: Yeah, working well below your skill level. Don’t get to test yourself properly because of all these barriers and it’s not a good outcome at all. And then finally the population pressures we’ve talked about as well. So, there are lots more people here. It does push up rents, only marginally. It increases demand for housing.

but that’s a, it’s sort of a, a transfer within Australian society, but it does affect low income earners that are struggling to pay their rent, a slight, any, any slight increase is a, is an impact for them.

Brendan Coates: And this is also a cohort that isn’t probably contributing as much as you would like. So if you’re going, whatever your population budget is, how much you think population growth, the population can grow.

This is probably not where I would spend it. If you, if you think we should have a larger Australia, I’d probably prefer to have 50, 000 more skilled visa holders here than 50, 000 international students that have graduated and they’re working, you know, in relatively low skilled jobs.

Tyler Reysenbach: And I think if you think about migration as like a, trying to help people who are disadvantaged in the world, I’d rather see an expansion to the humanitarian program.

Yeah, exactly. Like target it to the program’s purpose. So given that we are so anti, like having people in visa limbo, why have a temporary graduate visa at all?

Like, what is the purpose of this visa, Brendan?

Brendan Coates: Well, it’s really, it, it’s because even though many international graduates do struggle, it’s still a key source of skilled workers that stay permanently . One third of skilled, permanent skilled visas in say the last decade have gone to people that started off on a student visa.

So the fact that students come to Australia and and many talented ones stay is of an enormous benefit to Australia. So, you know, we’re estimating that basically those students that arrive in Australia each year and then eventually get permanent residency, get a permanent skilled visa They provide a fiscal dividend, as in they pay much more in tax than they draw in services, the age pension, infrastructure costs over their lifetime, of something like 12 billion dollars for each year’s cohort.

So it’s like you can think of the Commonwealth Government’s balance sheet, you’re putting a provision on there every year to say, we’re going to collect 12 billion more in taxes from those that just came and will stay, the minority that stay, then, you know, we’re going to have to spend in services. And that’s far more than actually we get from the benefits of the tuition fees that students are paying.

So students pay on average about 10 billion a year to universities. You know, roughly about half of that seems to be funneled into international research, which tends to be kind of a proxy for the profits. So getting the best students to stay is incredibly important. But the question becomes, well, how do you know?

When you’re selecting those graduates for permanent residency, who are the best ones? you know, we can’t use marks at university. We can’t really use courses because you don’t really see a big difference in employment rates between graduates of different universities in Australia. So the best thing we have is how well they do when they graduate.

So Trent mentioned it before, if you get a good job in the first couple of years, you tend to do really well. So if you are a graduate… You’ve part, you’ve finished university studies and you actually, let’s say you’ve studied nursing, you get a job in nursing. That’s a really good predictor that you’re going to do well in Australia long term.

And so those top 20 percent of temporary graduate visa holders that do find a good job, they do really well when they stay. So the purpose of that temporary graduate visa is really like a giant filter to help us understand who are those graduates that we should offer permanent residency to.

Trent Wiltshire: So another thing is the grad visa is important for attracting international students as well.

So, you know, a lot of students look at what post study work rights are on offer and when choosing where to go, you know, university quality is more important, but post study work rights do matter. On our assessment, looking at our sort of comparable countries, Canada, New Zealand, UK, Our post study work rights are now much more generous than anyone else.

So I think we’ve gone too far, so we think we should wind it back a bit.

Tyler Reysenbach: And I guess I have one other question on that is today, even in the media coverage of our report, a lot of people have said international graduates are working in jobs to meet skill shortages, aged care being one of the ones that’s mooted.

Why do we think that that shouldn’t be the purpose of this visa? Why is meeting skill shortages not the right objective?

Brendan Coates: So there’s a couple of bits to that, but first of all, if you’re, if you’re interested in trying to fill shortages, most shortages in the economy tend to occur in high skill jobs because that’s where it actually, it’s harder to train people, right?

You know, if you can quickly study something or you don’t need any qualifications at all, then a job probably shouldn’t be in shortage for a long period of time. but at the moment we’ve got. Lots of people work, we have shortages in areas like aged care. Now those shortages arise because we don’t pay people enough because government holds the purse strings.

So we’re not paying people enough to attract workers to that sector because the work is more demanding for similar wages to working at Bunnings. Why is it a bad idea to have graduates, these international graduates fill those roles? Well, it’s probably not going to give you a great aged care system if people do this for a couple of years and then they eventually leave.

And if you do give them PR, if they get permanent residency, well then why would you stay in aged care earning a pretty poor wage, when now that you’ve got permanent residency you can go work somewhere else. So it’s probably not a well designed aged care system if you’re cycling international temporary visa holders, international graduates through.

It’s also, it’s going to contribute to the sort of disgruntlement of those, of those graduates if they’ve studied, they’ve spent lots of money, tens of thousands of dollars in fees. And they end up working in those jobs. So, you know, it’s probably not, it’s not a long term sustainable solution to what are genuine shortages in aged care and in care economy jobs, which ultimately you’re not going to fill unless you basically pay people more, which government needs to then pay the money to providers so that they can pay their staff more.

Tyler Reysenbach: Okay, so we’ve got this temporary graduate visa. It’s primary goal is to try and pick the best people to kind of go on to get permanent residency. We’ve said the current system isn’t working. It’s too generous and it’s not facilitating that purpose. So what do we do? Well, how do we fix this, Trent?

Trent Wiltshire: As you said, the main, um, the main aim is to pick the good prospects for PR. So, a few things we want to do to the temporary grad visa, firstly on duration, we want to bring it back a master’s by coursework degrees, currently they get three years duration. We want to bring that back to two years.

That matters because around 42 percent of international students actually study a master’s by coursework. It’s a large, large proportion of all students. So bringing that back, that was changed back in 2021, so we think it should be brought back to two years. The extensions on offer, so I mentioned them right at the start, so we want to remove the extensions for regional study and work, and also the extensions offered to people studying a degree that’s in nominated shortage.

We do want to bring in a different extension, and it goes to what Brendan just spoke about, that the initial earnings of a graduate is a great predictor of future success. So we want to offer extensions for people in high wage jobs, that’s people earning 70, 000 or more on their graduate visa, they should be eligible for a further two years.

 And that will really help them get that next visa. We also want to tighten eligibility, bringing the age, maximum age down from 50 to 35, lifting English language requirements and make a few changes to make it a bit simpler to get the visa.

Tyler Reysenbach: So just to double back to what you said earlier, though, it seems like the big problem with getting a job is what happens after you’ve got the graduate visa.

So we’re simplifying the graduate visa. That sounds great. But what else needs to happen, Brendan? What do we need to fix to fix the pathways further down the road?

Brendan Coates: So, what really matters, as Trent said earlier, is what happens once they, they finish their temporary graduate visa. Where do they go? That’s what gives employers certainty to hire them in the first place. Now, they’ve really got three options, and we think we can fix all three.

So, first of all, you can get a temporary skills shortage visa where your employer sponsors you on a temporary basis. for between two and four years to stay and work in Australia. at the moment that process is quite costly and cumbersome. It’s not very flexible because we require people to be employed in a particular occupation that’s deemed to be in shortage.

Grattan has over a long period of time shown why trying to use those occupation lists to determine eligibility is problematic. We can’t really work out who’s, what occupations are in shortage with the data we have available, but also it makes the process much slower because some poor APS three public servant in Western Sydney is trying to work out whether the job description that’s been put in front of them, um, for the, the job where you’re trying to sponsor someone matches up with one of a thousand plus ANZCO six digit, occupations that are sort of listed by the ABS. So there’s a greater uncertainty about whether that sponsorship will be approved. It’s also more costly because there are big upfront fees. There are about seven or 8, 000. and so, you know, if we were to remove the occupation lists and pro rata those fees over the course of someone’s sponsorship, it would reduce the barriers for employers to actually hire someone on a temporary skill shortage visa. You know, the other pathways that used to employ, to sponsor someone permanently via a permanent employer nominated visa, that should also be made more flexible by basically getting rid of the occupation lists as well. but there should be a requirement that you have to earn at least 85, 000 a year in order to be eligible for that particular form of permanent visa, up from 70, 000 today.

And then the third one, which is probably the most important one in the long term, Is we need to fix the points tested visa program. This is the workhorse of the permanent program. Most people who get a permanent visa get a points tested visa. So we, we basically put everyone into a pot and we work out who are those that are the most eligible, the most valuable for a permanent visa based on, we issue points for things like your age, obviously younger is better, your skills, you know, whether you studied at a regional university, whether you studied, In Australia, and some of those points are valuable and some of them are probably not things that best predict students or graduates’ long term outcomes.

So that’s actually our next report is fixing that permanent points tested visa program. And if we did those things, then employers would be much more confident that the best students would be able to stay. They’d be able to sponsor them for a job once they’re Temporary graduate visa expires, and graduates would be much more confident that if they in fact are talented, then they would get a permanent visa and be able to stay permanently.

I should also just mention, you know, at the moment we’re offering these extensions if you study a degree in shortage. That’s problematic because, you know, what the system is doing is That’s, that’s, that’s rewarding persistence rather than rewarding talent because anyone can enroll in a degree in engineering.

And, you know, obviously it’s not an easy degree to finish, but a lot of people do and then they struggle to get work. The whole point in offering these extensions for the graduate visa, solely if you earn above that. That amount it’s a really hard thing to fake.

be getting a well-paid job. It’s much easier to study a course that gives you a longer set of work rights in Australia once you graduate. And it doesn’t really tell us anything about whether you are a good bet for permanent residency or not.

Trent Wiltshire: It’s very clear and simple for both employer and employee as well.

Mm-hmm. And that, that 70 k benchmark that gets to the extension, We know from the survey we ran that complexity, uncertainty was just a huge barrier to people employing temporary graduate visa holders. Another reform in the report was we actually recommended introducing a new visa stream as part of the Global Talent Visa, and that’s the Exceptionally Talented Graduate Visa.

This would be a very small number of spots to the most exceptionally talented people, so university medal winners, absolute gun researchers. These people would be offered a permanent visa straight up because we know there is a global war for talent. and you know, these really talented people potentially have to jump a couple of temporary visas to get PR.

They may look elsewhere. So this is a way to, to get the best people to stay quickly.

Tyler Reysenbach: Yeah, I think it was Brian Schmidt that kept talking about at the Jobs and Skills Summit, he wouldn’t have come to Australia if he couldn’t get a visa quickly. So trying to avoid that.

Brendan Coates: Yeah, in the back of my mind, there’s always the question, will I qualify for our reformed visas?

And so far, I’m still young enough that that’s the case, but I’m not sure how much longer that’s true for.

Tyler Reysenbach: I think for me, the question is, will my family have come here on the points test and visa if we fix it? Um, so we’ll, we’ll have to see whether that’s true.

Brendan Coates: Were you a good bet for us or not?

Tyler Reysenbach: Exactly. Have I paid off my debt to Australia? It seems like most of those reforms we’ve spoken about fixing the temporary graduate visa, giving them, giving the specialized pathway to PR as well as fixing the broader permanent program fixes the primary concern that employees have about hiring temporary visa holders.

But as you mentioned earlier, Trent, there’s still a heap of different barriers that international graduates face. What, what else do we suggest to try and improve that?

Trent Wiltshire: That’s right. So we talked a lot about the, you know, the relative underperformance of international graduates, and that’s because of all these barriers.

So we’ve got a whole range of reforms we think need to be done to help address this, so really to help international graduates to get a foothold in the labour market. so five reforms, so a government campaign to educate employers about graduate and other visas, so there’s a lack of understanding there from employers about the whole system, including the temporary graduate visa.

federal and state governments should remove the requirement for permanent residency for public sector grad jobs. So pretty much it’s a blanket ban at state and federal level on all temporary visa holders getting a job. Really not necessary given that a grad program’s a two years. Without reforms, people would be clearly eligible for four years.

So that would be the public sector sort of leading the way as well, might push the private sector to follow. More funding for international graduate settlement and support services. So we, we met with a few organisations that do great work in terms of meeting, with helping graduates, you know, network, improve their job, application skills, those type of things that are soft skills that might help people.

We think universities should probably do more of a, play more of a role there. Another one is that the government should publish detailed league tables. On the employment outcomes of international graduates for each uni. So one to incentivise unis to do, be do better for their grads and, you know, make, improve their, employment prospects as also as well as increase information available to prospective international students.

Well maybe I’ll pick that uni their grads seem to do well in terms of getting a job. And then finally, replacing, replacing the fortnightly cap on student working hours. Mm-hmm. with an annual cap. So this annual cap means that students will be able to work on average about 30 hours a week, but they can divide that time up over the year.

And that might give them the opportunity to say, do an internship for 10 weeks over summer, which they might not be able to do under this more restrictive 40 monthly cap. And we know again from our survey that employers highly value work experience. So being able to get a better job while studying should help grads get a better job in the future.

Brendan Coates: And it also helps, as per our most recent report, it deals with issues around exploitation. So if you think of the 7 11 saga, where a lot of students were being underpaid, it’s because they were breaching their fortnightly cap on work hours in the first… You know, a couple of weeks of working for that employer and then the threat was that you’ll be reported to home affairs and have your visa revoked.

If you spread out that cap over the course of the year, then the risk that your, you know, a new employer basically exploits you early on and then has that implicit threat against you, then that disappears.

Tyler Reysenbach: Well I think that’s all we have time for today. Thank you Brendan, thank you Trent for coming down and having the chat. I’d also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the Scanlon Foundation who funds this work program.

If you are interested in funding Grattan’s programs further, I suggest you head to our website at You can also read our report there for free. Thank you.​

Trent Wiltshire

Migration and Labour Markets Deputy Program Director
Trent Wiltshire is the Deputy Director, Migration and Labour Markets, in Grattan Institute’s Economic Policy Program. He previously worked at the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance, as Domain Group’s economist, and at the Reserve Bank of Australia.

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