Decent work and retention

Decent work and retention of skilled migrants in regional areas

Degree type


Closing date

1 February 2024



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

Skilled migrants contribute significantly to businesses and economies around the world. Particularly in regional areas, they fill the human capital gap by offering unique skills to drive business growth and economic development. Consequently, there are continuing efforts by regional governments to attract and retain skilled migrants. For example, “the Tasmanian Government actively pursues skilled and business migrants to drive Tasmania’s economic growth and cultural diversity in recognition of the significant contribution migrants make to Tasmania’s economy and cultural diversity” (Migration Tasmania, 2022).

Retaining skilled migrants is thus a key issue for regional governments and Australia as a whole. However, the issue of skilled migrants accessing ‘decent work’ has rarely been studied in the Australian context. Aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8 (i.e., Decent work and economic growth) and International Labour Organisation’s (2012) attributes of decent work focusing on the individual, research suggests that access to decent work offers workers numerous positive psychological outcomes and mitigates withdrawal intentions. Thus, understanding what constitutes decent work among skilled migrants and the many challenges related to accessing decent work in regional areas will inform practice and policy initiatives on how to retain skilled migrants in regional Australia. This is a particularly important issue given the shortage of skilled workers in the labour market currently.

This study will utilize both quantitative and qualitative methods. The project will explore the following research questions.

  1. What factors contribute to feelings of having ‘decent work’ in regional areas?
  2. How do skilled migrants perceive decent work compared to their local counterparts?

This research will identify the factors involved in skilled migrants achieving decent work outcomes and attributes of work which will make skilled migrants stay in regional Australia. We anticipate that the outcomes of this research will give us a more rigorous understanding of the skilled migrants' experience in regional area and inform practice on how to retain them.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Desmond Ayentimi


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $32,192 per annum (2024 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Proven ability to conduct research across a broad cross-section of business and industry
  • Proven ability to contribute to high-quality journal article publications
  • Willingness to complete a PhD that incorporates publications in high-quality journals
  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Desmond Ayentimi to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 1 February 2024.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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