11 July 2008

Foreign students 'could solve skills shortages in Canberra'

A committee in Australia has said skills shortages in Canberra could be solved by overseas students choosing to work in the area. The Standing Committee on Education, Training and Young People (SCETYP) is in the process of debating how best to solve the shortages in the territory.

The rules regarding student Australian visa holders have recently changed, meaning they are automatically given the rights to work in the country and no longer have to apply for a separate visa. This means more students will be attracted to study and work in Australia, and it is hoped this will ease the skills shortage in places like Canberra where a significant part of the population is comprised of international students.

Mary Porter, chair of the SCETYP, says this could be used to the territory’s advantage, saying they are ideal to fill gaps in the state. "Many of these young students are coming across wanting to actually improve their skills in this particular area."

She added that by encouraging these Australian visa holders to stay on past their studies the territory could benefit greatly, describing it as "a win for us and a win for them".

Australia needs skilled workers: 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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