17 September 2007

Western Australia looks to Australian visas to address severe shortage of council workers

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The skills shortage in Western Australia has reached such serious levels that local authorities are contemplating having to reduce services because they haven't been able to find sufficient staff. The negative effect of the shortage of skilled workers is driving councils and businesses to recruit overseas for people interested in Australian immigration or Australian visas.

State Local Government Association president Bill Mitchell told the Australian newspaper that council service reduction was "a very real possibility and probability". According to the latest Commonwealth Bank-Chamber of Commerce and Industry business expectations survey, a record 76 per cent of businesses are worried about labour shortages. Many respondents said they are paying higher wages and other incentives to attract and retain staff.

Western Australian local authorities are looking for town planners, engineers, accountants and environmental health officers. Local government is the third-biggest employer in the State and Mr Mitchell said more than ten per cent of jobs are currently unfilled.

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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