“We are now substantially ahead of our nation’s two largest industries, coal and iron ore”
The figures, which provide yearly jobs data ranging back to 2002, are an upgrade of more than 110,000 full-time equivalent roles from the previous estimate made by Deloitte Access Economics during the development of Australia’s international education strategy in 2016.
“For international education stakeholders, it comes as little surprise that the number of people who work in the sector has now been revised upwards,” said IEAA chief executive Phil Honeywood
“Testimony to the fact that international education is more job creative than most other industries is that with 241,000 jobs we are now substantially ahead of our nation’s two largest industries, coal and iron ore.
“The argument can also be made that coal’s 160,000 jobs do not cut across the range of skills that our dynamic international education sector is able to generate.”
Taking into consideration jobs both within education as well as other industries, such as accommodation and health insurance, the figures also show the number of jobs supported nationally by international education has grown yearly since 2010, despite declining student numbers during that period.
Of note, DET’s figure for 2015 is 100,000 jobs higher than Deloitte’s estimate. In explaining the substantial difference, the snapshot observes that as Deloitte’s estimate came during a period of flux, it was “likely the economic factors in play at that time influenced a very conservative value”.
The publication of data, the first time it has been made publicly available, also puts into context comments made by education minister Dan Tehan during this year’s Australian International Education Conference in Sydney.
The number of jobs supported is expected to further increase, after international student numbers also from DET, revealed year-to-October 2018 figures almost 50,000 higher than whole of 2017 .