25 September 2012

Further Australian reluctance to relocate for opportunity

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A federal program designed to help unemployed Australians relocate for work opportunities has been shown to have failed, despite the program being in operation for almost two years and offering AU$9,000 (£5,800) to participate.

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The Connecting People with Jobs program has had little effect in persuading people to move.

The Connecting People with Jobs program was intended to use areas with relatively high unemployment rates to combat labour shortages in other areas. However, the numbers are incredibly disappointing with less than 400 being the largest single movement - of people leaving NSW and ACT.

Almost 300 people moved to Queensland for work but numbers on average were just 50 people moving in and out of states, further suggesting foreign workers don't take work from Australians

 The Connecting People with Jobs program is already being prepared for major reform; Employment Participation Minister Kate Ellis said the program still had potential.

More people are signing up to our Connecting People with Jobs program are taking up the opportunity to move to the north of Australia and to the oil and gas resource-rich states where workers are in demand," said Ms Ellis.

"We also recognise that many people may be reluctant to make a big decision to move and we want to remove financial barriers to help make the decision an easier one."

Leonie Cotton, casework manager at the Australian Visa Bureau, says the program's lacklustre start proves there is ample opportunity for people wanting to move to Australia.

"Australia's current mining and resource industry still has plenty of opportunity and the Connecting People with Jobs program shows that some Australians are reluctant to relocate for the chance to work in the lucrative mines," said Ms Cotton.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy.

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