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A global labour market: factors motivating the sponsorship and international migration of skilled workers

Siew-Ean Khoo, Australian National University
Graeme J. Hugo, University of Adelaide
Carmen Voigt-Graf, University of the South Pacific

The recruitment of skilled foreign workers is becoming increasingly important to many industrialised countries that are experiencing a shortage of skilled labour. The paper examines the factors motivating the sponsorship and temporary migration of skilled workers to Australia under the temporary business entry program, a new development in Australia's migration policy that is similar to the H-1B visa program in the United States. Drawing on the results of two surveys - one of employers that have sponsored temporary skilled workers from overseas and the other of the migrants themselves - the paper examines the contexts and reasons for the sponsorship and recruitment of skilled temporary migrant workers from abroad and the type of skills that migrants bring with them. Based on these findings, the paper discusses the relevance of current theories of international labour migration to the present era of economic globalisation in which employers think globally in labour recruitment.

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Presented in Session 32: International migration and employment