CEO Blog: Takeaways from the Australian International Education Conference (AIEC)

It was great to be able to attend the recent Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) on the Gold Coast. Initially slated for 2020, we were finally able to reconnect face-to-face with colleagues across the industry and look forward to new developments in the sector.

The theme for this year’s conference was “Beyond Borders” and it was pleasing to see a significant portion of the program dedicated to international student employability, with tech roles a particular focus.


The federal government obviously plays a significant role in this, both in terms of getting students back into the country, but also in terms of a pathway for them to stay and be employed beyond the current conditions.


Under the current model, a student could spend 4 years undertaking a degree course, followed by a further 4 years on a post study visa, sometimes longer, working in their field, and at the end of that, be told they need to leave Australia.  Which would mean potentially spending 30% of their lives here (and virtually all their adult lives) before being told they have to go.

Clearly we’re not advocating that everyone be granted a permanent visa, but there must be a sustainable model and it is something the federal government is committed to getting right.


A more sustainable model also has flow on benefits for employers who are feeling the pinch in terms of accessing graduate talent, but also struggle to engage with international students because they don’t fully understand obligations and rights.

Encouragingly, we are still seeing employment growth opportunities in areas like tech / ICT, with a target of 1.2 million tech jobs forecast by 2030, about a 15% increase on current levels, with job seekers encouraged to look beyond large enterprise to start-ups and SMEs for opportunities in innovation and technology, rather than traditional IT related roles.


Connecting International Students with Australian Employers

is our speciality! It’s what we do at Gradability.

If you have questions around hosting international students for an internship (in IT, Accounting, Marketing, HR, Supply Chain, Finance etc) or your rights and obligations in employing international graduates, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

We are here to help!

Enquire Now


The Overall Sentiment at the Conference

I was encouraged by the willingness of education providers to collaborate with other businesses to add value to their offerings. While there is a recognition that international students sometimes need additional support to successfully transition between graduation and employment, it is also clear that this sometimes sits outside of the establishment. That’s where specialist providers come in and through programs such as our Professional Year for international IT and Accounting graduates, and the Gradability Accelerator Plus Program for domestic and international students across a variety of business disciplines, we are actively revolutionising and shaping the world of graduate employability.


Overwhelmingly, the mood at the AIEC Conference this year was one of positivity and opportunity.  I think everyone recognises that the Australian tertiary education sector has ground to make up following the last 3 years of the pandemic and we’re all eager to move forward to tackle these opportunities.


Control the Controllables,

Dave Phua
CEO, Gradability & Performance Education

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