26 April 2010

Ten Pound Pom scheme urged for Australian mines

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A leading demographer has proposed a 21st century version of the ten pound Pom migrant scheme to encourage workers to take jobs in Western Australia.

Western Australia’s booming economy and a rapidly growing natural resources sector needs skilled workers, but Professor Peter McDonald has found that many Australians will not relocate for work and that Australian immigration instead might fill the gaps.

Professor McDonald, a demographer with the Australian National University, said that only one in 10 migrants to Western Australia came from within Australia.  Only 5000 people moved interstate to Western Australia in 2008-09, whereas the state gained a net 45,000 immigrants from overseas.

Professor McDonald said there was reluctance among the unemployed to move and while incentives such as a local version of the ten pound Pom scheme might help, Australia needed to address its high rate of non-participation among working-age Australians.

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