South African farmers: industrious, English-speaking migrants fit in best

South African farmers: industrious, English-speaking migrants fit in best. By Adam Creighton.

Of course, Australia can’t take all the world’s 23 million refugees, so why not prioritise those who are most likely to fit in economically? That saves taxpayers money in welfare, and minimises social discord.

It turns out skilled South African and English immigrants have unemployment rates of about 2 per cent, compared to a 5.6 per cent rate nationally, according to a 2014 study by the Immigration Department of arrivals between 2001 and 2011. …

If we want immigrants with the greatest likelihood of integrating, look no further than southern and eastern Europe, it seems. Of the 31,000 immigrants from there since 2006, none is unemployed, according to estimates in the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ most recent analysis of the country’s ­migrant population. By contrast, of the 70,000 migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, 44,000 were either unemployed or not looking for work. …

“The single most important measure of successful settlement in Australia is the ability to communicate in English,” states that 2014 analysis, written by David Smith and Therese Smith. …

The government funds more than 500 hours of free English-language training to migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds. But after 10 years in ­Australia, more than a third of refugees still can’t speak English. …

Indeed, a quarter, or 186,000 immigrants, from non-English speaking countries since 2006 haven’t had a job since they ­arrived, and three fifths of those hadn’t looked for one. For those from English-speaking countries the figures were 8 per cent, and a quarter. …

2013, before Abbott was PM

Whether we like it or not, Australians don’t have the same attitude to all immigrants. More than 60 per cent surveyed have a positive attitude to English-speaking migrants and Europeans, double the share well-disposed toward Muslims, according to the Scanlon survey.

A separate Life in Australia survey taken in 2016 found more than 41 per cent of voters had a “very negative” or “somewhat negative” attitude towards Muslim immigrants, with only 6 per cent offering the same view of Buddhists.

hat-tip Stephen Neil