17 August 2007

Australia competes for skilled immigrants

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Australia is competing for skilled workers with Europe, the US, Canada and New Zealand, the Australian immigration minister Kevin Andrews acknowledged yesterday. Following the recent announcement of more favourable criteria for Australian immigration, Britons should take another look at whether they now meet the Australian visa requirements.

Australia is competing for skilled workers with Europe, the US, Canada and New Zealand, the Australian immigration minister Kevin Andrews acknowledged yesterday. Following the recent announcement of more favourable criteria for Australian immigration, Britons should take another look at whether they now meet the Australian visa requirements.

In a statement yesterday Mr Andrews said: "The reality is we face a shortage of workers in Australia. We simply have to ensure that we build a productive nation where business can continue to thrive into the future."

Accountants lead the list of skilled professionals taking up Australian visas and emigrating for new job opportunities, according to statistics from the Australian government. Other leading occupations for skilled migrants were computing and nursing.

Almost 150,000 foreigners were granted permanent visas to live in Australia last year, with skilled migrants making up two thirds of that total with an average age of 31. The government quota for skilled migrants in 2007-08 has increased to 102,500. Britain (24,800), India (15,865), China (14,688), South Africa (4,293) and Malaysia (3,838) were the leading sources of skilled workers.

Tom Blackett, Official Spokesperson for the Australian Visa Bureau commented: "The skills crisis is worldwide, and Australia is no exception, with professions as varied as nurses, accountants, tradesmen and IT professionals all in demand Down Under. Any potential migrants to Australia should consult the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) to see if their occupation is listed and whether they could potentially enjoy a streamlined migration process upon lodging their visa application."

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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