Archive for » April, 2012 «

Australia leading the world in skilled migration

According to a consultant to the OECD who advises on migrant labour to meet global skills shortages, and is  a world authority on skilled labour migration, Australia is leading the world in removing barriers for foreign workers with an agenda for ready recognition of overseas credentials which is “radical in global terms”,

The country’s skilled migration program had undergone a revolution from permanent to temporary entry and from points-tested to employer-nominated as the dominant basis of entry, said Lesleyanne Hawthorne, a consultant to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The recent decision to allow skilled US workers to get work licences on arrival instead of in the US, and the introduction of Enterprise Migration Agreements for large-scale resources projects, are the latest steps in a decades-long process of freeing up entry to the Australian workforce. This started under the 1980s Hawke government, said Professor Hawthorne, from the University of Melbourne.

Permanent skilled migration to Australia had almost quadrupled in the past 15 years.

The “privatisation” of the skilled migration program was well advanced, she said, as 70 per cent of Australia’s labour migrants were employer-sponsored by 2009.

Temporary skilled migrant arrivals surpassed permanent arrivals in 2007-08 at 110,570 compared with 108,500. Though they had since dropped back, it was clear Australia’s “old paradigm” of permanent migration was disappearing, Professor Hawthorne said.

Occupations preferred by employers for importing labour were significantly different from those selected by government. The top five professions selected by government in order were accounting, computing, architecture/building, engineering and nursing. For employers it was nursing, computing, business professionals, engineers and sales and marketing professionals. The choice of source countries also differed, with the government favouring Asian countries and employers favouring English-speaking countries.

In what the OECD has dubbed the “looming war for skills”, foreign credential recognition strategies were “a policy imperative”, Professor Hawthorne said.

The 19th-century credential recognition systems which had forced many professionals to wait sometimes for years before their overseas qualifications were recognised in Australia “are not fit for purpose in the 21st century”.

A spokesman for the Minister for Immigration, Chris Bowen, said there was a need for temporary workers to “help keep our economy strong”. By law, such workers could not be used to undercut local wages or labour costs, and the government was committed to identifying and penalising employers who did the wrong thing.


Australian visas to be fast tracked for United States tradesmen

The Australian govt has announced plans to fast-track the assessment process for skilled United States workers wishing to migrate to Australia.

Under the agreement, US tradespeople will able to complete a skills assessment before coming to Australia. This should mean faster faster processing times for 457 (Temporary Business (Long Stay) – Standard Business Sponsorship) visa applicants and better job security for US workers wanting to come to Oz.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says it is important for Australia to attract workers with the right skills.

“There are economies and countries around the world which are facing very difficult and different circumstances to ours,” he said.

“What’s appropriate is that we work together with those countries to ensure that skilled workers who are looking for work have the capacity to fill some of those gaps we are facing in Australia.”

The changes are designed to deal with the skills shortage in the construction and resources industries.

Federal Minister for Skills Chris Evans says there are many tradespeople in the US who are prepared to come to Australia but are being turned off by some of the requirements.

“Currently they would have to come to Australia not sure if they would get that licence and it may take some months to get that licence awarded to them,” he said.

“So these changes will allow for recognition in the United States, which will provide confidence for the worker and the employer that they’ll be able to bring them in temporarily for employment.


Emigrating to Perth Forum

If you’re emigrating to Perth (or anywhere else in Western Australia), then it may be worthwhile registering on the Western Australia migration forum. The open is open to anyone who’s thinking or in the process of moving to WA and to expats who’ve already made the move the the ‘Golden State’. The forum has over 4,000 members who are happy to advise on visas/migration, shipping removals and aspects of living in Perth such as the best suburbs, which schools/colleges to send your children to, jobs/careers etc. Members also have frequent get togethers which are a great way to meet new friends when you first arrive. The forum has members and visitors from many different countries and everyone is welcome to join and participate.