02 SES 10 A, Organisations, Labour Market And Vocational School Management
Parallel Paper Session
The implementation of Australia’s skilled migration program since 1996 has seen the influx of significant numbers of migrants into regional areas of Australia (See Monash Institute, 2006). This echoes the global movement of peoples—migrants and refugees—well documented in the literature on migration. Anecdotes and the scant information available suggest the skills of migrant women in regional Australia are underutilised with many migrant women under or unemployed (Devos, 2011). This contributes to social exclusion, and represents a productivity loss for those communities. Literature on migratory flows tells a story of male migration; ‘women (dis)appear’ or they are relegated to the family reunion flow (Kofman & Raghuram, 2005:149). The aspirations, needs and outcomes for migrant women in regard to work and learning are under-recognised in skilled migration policies and practices (Curran et al. 2006; McCall, 2000).
This paper reports on a funded project, which investigates how vocational education and training might contribute towards socially inclusive outcomes for migrant women and their families in regional Australia; and, how the cultural capital and assets of migrant women be harnessed in the context of regional industry, community development and social cohesion. We investigate the status of recently arrived migrant women in regional Australia, and argue the need for research and policy attention into their experiences, aspirations and needs. These women are impacted in part by the declining presence of women in Australia vocational education and training policy in recent years (see Butler & Ferrier, 2009). Current policy also suffers from being nationally conceptualised and bounded, limiting its’ relevance to mobile, dispersed and sometimes geographically isolated groups of people. Rather than a deficit model that focuses on education and training gaps, this paper argues for a model that emphasises the contributions migrant women might make to their communities and the economy.
Butler, E. and F. Ferrier (2006). "Asking Difficult (Feminist) Questions: The Case of "Disappearing" Women and Policy Problematics in Australian VET." Journal of Vocational Education and Training 58(4): 577-601. Curran, S. R., Shafer, S., Donato, K.M. & Garip, F. (2006) Mapping gender and migration in sociological scholarship: Is it segregation or integration? International Migration Review, 40 (1): 199-223 Devos, A. (2011). "Learning to labour in regional Australia: Gender, identity and place in lifelong learning." International Journal of Lifelong Education 30(4): tba. Kofman, E., & Raghuram,P. (2005) Gender and skilled migrants: into and beyond the work place, Geoforum 36 (2005) 149-154 McCall, L., (2000) Gender and the New Inequality: Explaining the College/Non-College Wage Gap. American Sociological Review 65 (2): 234-255
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