Australia a winner in war for talent, highlighting brain drain issue

Australia a winner in war for talent, highlighting brain drain issue, by Adam Creighton.

The world’s highly-skilled immigrants are increasingly living in just four nations: Australia, the US, UK and Canada, according to new World Bank research highlighting the challenges of brain drain for non-English-speaking and developing countries.

So why import unskilled and uneducated immigrants at all?

Despite efforts of non-English-speaking nations to attract high quality workers, almost 75 per cent of the total OECD highly skilled workforce in 2010 lived in the four main Anglo-Saxon countries — almost 40 per cent in the US alone. Around 70 per cent of engineers in Silicon Valley and 60 per cent of doctors in Perth, Australia, were foreign-born in 2010.

“The US has received an enormous net surplus of inventors from abroad, while China and India have been major source countries,” the study noted. In the last third of the 20 century, for instance, immigrants won 31 per cent of all Nobel prizes — of whom more than half of these were at US institutions.