Malaysian accountants hit by surplus in Australia

MELBOURNE: Malaysians are among thousands of foreign accountants imported by the Australian Government through its skilled migration programme, despite one of its own departments warning the industry has a surplus.

Accountants are still included on an Immigration Department list of needed professions for Australia and on that basis nearly 7,000 were given permanent visas in 2011-12 the biggest single occupation group, the Herald Sun newspaper reports.

This included more than 2,000 from China, 1,260 from India, 367 Sri Lankans and similar numbers of Malaysians and Pakistanis.

But a Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations report for the same year said there was more than an adequate supply of accountants, with an average of 30 applications for every job vacancy.

"The vast majority of applicants were considered by employers to be unsuitable, although large numbers held formal qualifications," said the Labour Market Research Accountants 2011-12 report.

"Many lacked relevant experience or industry-specific knowledge. Other commonly cited reasons include inadequate qualifications and poor communication skills."

Monash University migration expert Dr Bob Birrell told the newspaper accountants were the biggest single group of skilled migrants but the government's own department was admitting there was no shortage in Australia. Bernama