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More PH students, workers eye Australia

by Jericho Zafra

AUSTRALIA  lacks manpower, and that is the prime attraction for Filipinos to work and study in Australia, officials from the global education organization International Development Program (IDP) Philippines said Wednesday.

Currently, there are close to 50,000 Filipino students abroad, according to IDP research. And around 64 percent of that population is in Australia and Canada. The IDP said the three other leading destinations for students are the United States, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

IDP said most Filipino students land in the healthcare system, business, information technology, and engineering after completing their work-study programs in the English countries.

“We’ve seen a good growth of Filipinos working and migrating abroad hence the need for us to expand our IELTS testing centers,” said Jojo Habana, IDP Philippines Country Director in a news conference.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) was created to assist students and workers in moving to a country where English is the dominant language in order to work, study, or move.

IDP officials did not disclose the exact figures of Filipino students taking IELTS, except to say  that there was a recorded 50 percent market growth of Filipinos applying for work-study programs this year compared to 2021.

“Australia is really in need of a workforce since there has been a pandemic and students weren’t able to go to work while they are studying,” said Nicole Ting, Adelaide Education Group Regional Marketing Manager in the Philippines, in an interview. 

Ting said Filipino students under the work-study program “are the ones who fill the positions in different organizations” since there is an insufficient labor force in Australia.

The latest tally from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that the country had a 25,890,773 total population. 



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