I’ve written a series of stories looking at the job market for accounting students and graduates, the inclusion of the field on a list of in-demand occupations and the state of the jobs market.
It is an area where there is big money at stake (international students are a critical cash cow for universities) and conflicting views about the jobs market for accountants from the major accounting bodies (CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants ANZ), government agencies (the federal Department of Employment), accounting firms, universities and academics.
The major accounting bodies have, for the first time, publicly acknowledged the difficulties international accounting graduates have in finding professional work in Australia.
In an about-face, CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants ANZ now say the difficulties of overseas graduates have finding jobs are “well understood”, and they have “a number of programs in place at the local, state and federal level, and through universities around Australia aimed at supporting international students”.
The acknowledgement comes after the accounting bodies told the federal government last year of a shortage of accountants as part of a successful review to keep the occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL), which is a list of in-demand occupations.
International graduates find it extremely difficult to get professional work in Australia, despite having qualifications in areas of supposed skills shortages, a three-year study has found.
The accounting, nursing and engineering graduates in the study encountered multiple barriers to getting a job, including a tough jobs market and local firms unwilling to take on staff without permanent residency.
The Deakin University report, Australian International Graduates and the Transition to Employment, bluntly concludes international graduates without a permanent visa are unlikely to find work in their discipline area in Australia.