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Employment Relations, Immigration

620,000 hidden workers offer untapped solution to national skills shortage

SSI 2 mins read

Industry and community sector leaders from LinkedIn, Allianz Australia, Diversity Council of Australia, Business NSW and Business Western Sydney are coming together on world Refugee Day, June 20, to launch Australian first research revealing over 620,000 skilled migrants already living in Australia could provide an untapped solution to national skills shortages if they were able to fully utilise their existing skills and qualifications. 

Billion Dollar Benefit: The economic impact of unlocking the skills potential of migrants in Australia, comissioned by SSI and conducted by Deloitte Access Economics reveals that closing the migrant skills mismatch would boost the Australian economy by $70 billion over 10 years and inject 44,000 sought-after jobs into the workforce each year. 

Despite having higher qualification levels than their Australian-born counterparts, almost half (44%) of migrants and refugees in Australia are working in roles below their skill level, found Billion Dollar Benefit: The economic impact of unlocking the skills potential of migrants in Australia.  

This research will be launched in Sydney on World Refugee Day with a press conference, including: 

  • Craig Foster, Human Rights Advocate, Broadcaster and Former Socceroo 

  • Richard Feledy, Allianz Australia Managing Director 

  • Lisa Annesse, Diversity Council of Australia CEO 

  • Dan Hunter, Business NSW CEO 

  • David Borger, Business Western Sydney Executive Director 

  • Tharani Jegatheeswaran, SSI Non-Executive Director and Billion Dollar Benefit Ambassador 

  • Chantal Mousad, CareerSeekers Board Member and Billion Dollar Benefit Ambassador  

Media are encouraged to attend the event and press conference.  

  • Date: Thursday, 20 June 2024 

  • Time: 9-9:30am 

  • Location: National Maritime Museum, 2 Murray Street Sydney on the Ben Lexsen Terrace 

If you are interested in attending or covering the event, please contact SSI Senior Communications Officer Jordan Wood (M: 0431 233 392 E: 

About the report:   

The research was commissioned by non-profit SSI, conducted by Deloitte Access Economics, and jointly funded by SSI, Allianz Australia, LinkedIn, Business NSW, and Business Western Sydney. This report is the first to explore the national economy-wide impacts of more fully utilising the skills of migrant professionals in Australia. It also examines the extent of skills underutilisation, finding that migrant women, migrants from non-OECD countries, and humanitarian entrants experience a greater skills mismatch than others. The report is part of the Billion Dollar Benefit, an advocacy movement of more than 70 organisations committed to reducing employment barriers so more refugees and migrants can work in their fields of expertise and, in doing so, add billions to the Australian economy.  


About us:

About SSI: 

Settlement Services International (SSI) delivers a range of human services that connect individuals, families, and children from diverse backgrounds with opportunities - including settlement support, disability programs, community engagement initiatives and training and employment pathways. At the heart of everything we do is a drive for equality, empathy, and celebration of every individual.  

Contact details:

Jordan wood, Senior Communications Officer 

M:0403 082 926 

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