01 September 2009

Emigration to Australia program targets needed overseas workers

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Australia's migration program is more effectively meeting the needs of employers with a 60 per cent increase in the number of employer-sponsored skilled migrants to Australia in 2008-09 compared with the previous year, says the Australian Government.

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The Australian Government says its emigration program is meeting the needs of Australian employers and filling critical skills gaps.

The Report on Migration Program 2008-09 shows that the Australian Government's targeted approach to overseas workers is helping to fill critical skills gaps in the healthcare, engineering, financial services and IT sectors.

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said that changes introduced in January, which includes adapting the Critical Skills List (CSL) of high value occupations and prioritising employer-sponsored or state/territory-sponsored Australia skilled migration visa grants, were having a significant impact.

Overseas workers who were sponsored by employers comprised 33 per cent of the 2008-09 skill stream compared to 22 per cent in 2007-08 and 17 per cent in 2006-07.

Across all permanent Australia skilled visa categories, the top three occupations for successful applicants were accountancy (6238), computing professionals (3879) and registered nurses (3355) while the top three countries of citizenship under the skill stream were the United Kingdom (23 178), India (20 105) and China (13 927).

"Australia's migration program is better targeting the needs of Australian employers who are still experiencing skill shortages," Senator Evans said.

"A properly targeted migration program will ensure we have the right sized and appropriately skilled labour force to meet Australia's needs now and into the future as our economy recovers and grows."

The 2008-09 Australia family sponsored visa stream also made a significant contribution to Australia's society, with a total outcome of 56 366 places or 33 per cent of the total migration program.

Of these, almost 75 per cent were the spouses, fiancés or interdependent partners of Australian citizens and permanent residents.'

The top three countries of citizenship under the family stream were China (7901), the United Kingdom (7360) and India (4936).


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