15 July 2008

300,000 overseas workers needed in South Australia

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Over the next decade, South Australia will need to fill 300,000 jobs in its mining industry in order to meet export demands, the South Australian Deputy Premier and Trade Minister Kevin Foley told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. 28 new mining companies are exploring South Australia for mining opportunities and are expected to open over the next ten years.

Mr Foley went to the Philippines to discuss a memorandum of understanding between South Australia and the Philippines, so that a labour agreement could be reached to cope with the labour shortage.  The Philippines is currently the sixth largest source of overseas workers for Australian jobs.

"Australia will need 300,000 more [people] to provide support for our mining sector.  We don’t have the potential to fill all those jobs out of Australians; we have to, as we’ve always done throughout the history of our nation, embrace the world," the Trade Minister said. 

The Northern Territory’s mining industry is also experiencing restricted development from labour shortages, and is recruiting overseas engineers, project managers, and officers to kick-start major development projects. 

Overseas workers looking to gain employment in Australia have a number of visa options available.  Most applicants for an Australia visa are eligible for visas from the skilled migrant program, which allows individuals or sponsored migrants to work in Australia in a specified industry.  If the applicants already have a job offer in Australia, the application process can be significantly fast-tracked.

Overseas skilled workers can also apply for an Australian working holiday visa, which allows young people between the ages of 18 and 30 years to work and travel in Australia for up to 12 months.  As of this month, if travellers on a working holiday visa worked in regional Australia in the construction industry for three months or more, they can apply for a second working holiday visa while in the country.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to Australia.

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