01 October 2007

More flexibility for electricians with Australian visas

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Australia's skills shortage is taking centre stage in campaigning for November's general election as the government has announced a relaxation of licencing rules for electricians. Electrical contractors with Australian visas will reap the benefit of the new rules.

Prime Minister Howard today introduced the recognition of electrical contractors' qualifications across all of Australia's six states and territories. The aim of the new rules is to relieve severe skills shortages being experienced in many parts of the country.

Qualified electricians will now be able to work anywhere in the country, rather than having to register and have their qualifications recognised in each state. "Arrangements initiated through COAG have been finalised to allow electrical contractors to now move or work interstate using their current state-issued licences," Mr Howard said.

"Prior to this, electricians were required to obtain a new licence if they wanted to work outside their home state. That was an absurd 19th century system that had no place in 21st century Australia," Mr Howard said in a weekly radio address.

The government claims this removes an impediment to attracting skilled workers. "A skilled workforce is vital if Australia is to maintain its current prosperity into the future," he added.

Opposition leader Kevin Rudd claims the government is failing to address the lack of skilled workers in Australia.

Australia needs skilled electricians: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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