Australia Adjusts Migration Program to Fill Labour Shortages.
Australia Adjusts Migration Program to Fill Labour
LONDON, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The Australian Government
today announced significant changes to its immigration strategy
including the addition of 20,000 places in the Skill Stream of the
country's 2005-2006 Migration Program. The changes will help
Australia meet its short and long-term labour force needs.
The increase in places targets employer sponsored migration,
state/region sponsored migration, working holiday visas and migrants who
have an occupation on an expanded and more responsive Migration
Occupations in Demand List (MODL). Significantly, an extra 10 points
will now be allocated for State/Region sponsorship under the Skilled
Independent Regional (SIR) visa to address the demands for more skilled
migrants by many States and Regions.
'The 10 point increase will have a significant impact on the
number of British workers who now qualify to emigrate to Australia. Of
the changes announced, this will have the greatest impact for Brits
looking to move Down Under,' said Oonagh Baerveldt spokesperson for
the Australian Visa Bureau.
'The changes reflect the Government's strongly held view
regarding the benefits of well managed immigration arrangements,'
said the Minister for the Department of Immigration and Multicultural
and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA), Senator Amanda Vanstone.
'A primary aim will be to increase the number of skilled
migrants entering under the employer sponsored categories, as it is
employers who are best placed to identify the skilled migrants we
need,' said the Minister.
'Australia's points-style system of immigration has
proven to be extremely successful in filling labour gaps in the economy.
Of course now it's being touted by politicians as a potential model
for Britain,' said Oonagh Baerveldt spokesperson for the Australian
'The points system is effective but not always
straightforward. Anyone who is interested in emigrating to Australia
should visit the Australian Visa Bureau web site at
http://www.visabureau.co.uk/australia/ and complete the online
assessment to see if they meet the basic legislative requirements,'
said Ms Baerveldt.
'Earlier in the week we spoke about the potential for
Longbridge skilled workers who have been made redundant to apply under
Australia's skilled migration scheme. But the skills shortage is
not merely confined to the automotive sector; Australia is looking for
skilled migrants across the board, from trades people to engineers to
nurses to accountants.'
Senator Vanstone said, 'As we are competing globally for
skilled workers, it is essential that Australian employers have a
competitive edge in this area. The increase reflects the continued
growth in the Australian Migration Program's Skill Stream, which
has risen from 34,600 in 1997-98 to around 97,500 for 2005-2006.'
'The other significant change here is to the Working Holiday
Makers (WHMs) visas scheme. Those who do a minimum amount of seasonal
harvest work in regional Australia will be allowed to apply for a second
Working Holiday Maker visa,' said Ms Baerveldt. 'The WHM visa
used to be a once in a life time opportunity, now Brits between the ages
of 18-30 are a getting a second chance.'
More than 95,750 visas were issued under the WHM program last year,
of which 35,061 were to UK nationals. Under the arrangement, young
Britons aged between 18 and 30 can apply for working holiday visas for
up to 12 months. Work undertaken must be incidental to the main purpose
of holidaying and, employment for more than three months with any one
employer is not allowed.
The program boosts tourism to Australia and benefits industries
that rely heavily on casual labour at peak times, especially the
hospitality, horticultural and rural industries.
Changes to make Australia's skilled migration arrangements
more competitive can be found at http://www.visabureau.co.uk/australia/
- More trades and engineering related occupations will be added to
the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL,) which provides priority
processing and additional points for the general skilled migration
points test. The MODL will be reviewed every six months to reflect
better emerging labour shortages and further improve targeting.
- Working Holiday Makers and Occupational Trainee visa holders will
be allowed to obtain a SIR visa without having to leave Australia, just
as overseas students can already.
- A pilot program will be introduced to allow overseas students to
undertake traditional trade apprenticeships in regional Australia on a
full fee paying basis, and on completion of these, to apply for
migration under one of the regional migration visas.
About Australian Visa Bureau
The Australian Visa Bureau specialises in arranging visas for
British and Irish national looking to live and work in Australia. Based
in London, the company ensures clients are given the most up to date
information concerning immigration and visa policy. Visit
http://www.visabureau.co.uk for further information and free online visa
For comment on this story, or further information, please contact:
Oonagh Baerveldt, Communications Manager, Australian Visa Bureau,
Mobile: +44-(0)-787-634-3664 or Andrew (Andy) Harwood, CEO, Registered
Migration Agent, (MIA No: 1887, MARA No: 0322898) Australian Visa
Bureau, Office: +44-(0)-870-744-7340
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