20 July 2010

More liberal Australian working holiday rules could prevent skills shortage

The Australian tourism industry has called for more liberal backpacker visa requirements to help the country be prepared for the next resources boom.

Australian Working Holiday

Changes the Australian Working Holiday rules to qualify for a second year visa could help with skills shortages.

A National Resources Sector Employment Taskforce report found that by 2015 the mining industry could be short 36, 000 tradespeople, and this would also affect the tourism and service industries as workers move from these industries to fill highly-paid mining jobs.

A tourism body has argued that changing the Australian working holiday rules to qualify for a second visa could help.

Australian Tourism Council managing director Matt Hingerty said the Government must act swiftly to prevent the problems seen during the last resources boom from remerging.

The Federal Government should review temporary migration programs to help the tourism industry prevent skills shortages, Mr Hingerty said.
"We could make it easier for backpackers to get their second year here," he said.

"At the moment if they spend three months in gazetted agricultural pursuits after their first year they can apply for a second year, we'd like to see that expanded to take in tourism and hospitality businesses as well."

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa applications at Australian House London.   

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