People are the single most important factor for an innovative economy. As Prime Minister Turnbull said recently, “Our greatest asset is not the rocks under the ground but it’s the people that walk on top”. Knowledge and skills circulating through a network of people builds to a critical mass where innovation can prosper. Silicon Valley didn’t pop up overnight, it took 60 years to build. People were and continue to be the essential component. Immigration is not the first thing that springs to mind when considering innovation policy.
The effect of migration on productivity is complex. On the one hand, productivity receives a boost because migrants are concentrated in the prime working age group and are relatively highly educated. Moreover, they are more likely to participate in the workforce and have higher levels of personal productivity.
Employment is a crucial step in the process of settling in Australia. Through work, refugees become self-reliant and empowered to build a future for themselves and their families. Hence, the Migration Council of Australia in collaboration with Friendly Nation Initiative and TENT have produced this Australian Guide to Hiring Refugees.