16 March 2009
Australian skilled migration program cut by 14 per cent
Drastic changes have been made to the permanent skilled migration program, with a 14 per cent cut reducing the program intake to 115,000 places for the 2009-10 financial year.
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Evans, stated that the cut has been implemented "to protect local jobs while ensuring employers can access skilled professionals in industries still experiencing skills shortages".
The result is that the 2009-10 Australian skilled migration program stands at 115,000 places; a reduction of 14 per cent from the 133,500 places allotted for the 2008-09 financial year.
However, the figure still stands as one of the highest skilled migration levels on record. While it is a reduction from last year's level, it is still higher than the intake level set for both the 2007-08 program (108,500 places) and 2006-07 program (97,500 places).
Additionally, Minister Evans has indicated that the reduction is only a temporary response to the global financial crisis, and that the demand for skilled workers will grow according to the Australian economy. Speaking on the future need for a continuous stream of foreign workers, Evans stated "we're going to need migrants to keep the workforce numbers up in coming years."
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.