20 February 2008

Australian immigration could be 'key' to Hunter skills shortage

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Upper Hunter in Australia is being hit hard by the skills shortage, according to the Hunter Valley Research Foundation. One of the solutions for the problem could be Australian immigration. The organisation has said that although employment in the region has increased by 20 per cent in the last year, there is still a shortage of workers.

Economist Robin McDonald said: "We do have quite a small proportion of people over the age of 15 who complete high school and an even smaller proportion who go on to obtain post-school qualifications." He added that while the mining industry will "see it through for a number of years" the challenge will be "increasing those skill levels in the region". The Housing Industry Association recently estimated that the region of Hunter will need an extra 6,000 skilled workers over the next three years, through Australian immigration or otherwise, in order to keep up with demand.

Hunter region is part of New South Wales. It has a population of 590,000 people and the cities of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie are located there.

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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