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Industry accreditation as a barrier to employment: A case study – Dentistry

Policy Brief

As the Australian Government considers how to create pathways to more employment opportunities for more Australians in the context of low unemployment rates and significant skills shortages,[1] this brief outlines why industry-run accreditation processes present a significant barrier to skilled refugee and humanitarian entrants working in their chosen profession, despite the relevance of their qualifications and skills to the current Australian labour market and wider community.

The brief focuses on the dentistry industry as a case study, outlining the process of accreditation that allows overseas-qualified dentists to work in Australia, why this accreditation process is ineffective and unfair, and makes recommendations for how to facilitate better pathways to entry into this profession.

While this brief focuses on one profession, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), Australian Syrian Charity (ASC) and many other bodies representing or working with refugees and migrants are aware of common issues in other professional and trade fields, with a common denominator being the complexity of qualification and skills recognition processes and the problematic power of industry bodies overseeing accreditation processes where there is weak accountability and oversight, and vested interests at play in limiting access to professions.[2]

You can download the brief here or continue to read in html.

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