18 April 2008
Calls made for more semi-skilled workers in Australia
Australian immigration laws should be relaxed in order to allow more semi-skilled workers into the country to fill skills shortages, according to the chief executive of a major construction firm. Despite large amounts of skilled workers being able to move to Australian temporarily through the 457 visa scheme, Wal King, of Leighton Holdings has called for an increase in Australian immigration.
Mr King said: "I believe the labour force should be completely opened up. There are just too many artificial constraints. If you look at similar places around the world, for example Britain, they opened up the labour force completely there." The federal government has revealed it will review the visa programme. One of the main problems lies in filling jobs such as truck drivers and restaurant workers, according to Mr King. Leighton Holdings was established in 1949 and is the biggest project development and contracting group in Australia, and employs around 30,000 people worldwide.
Australia needs semi-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.