27 February 2009

Australian PM says crisis will only make economy stronger

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Kevin Rudd, the Australian Prime Minister, has assured Australians that the economy will benefit from the global crisis, reports news.com.au.

The PM has confidently stated that after surviving the tough times that are to come throughout the next year, the Australian economy would come out stronger, more resilient and better prepared to handle economic downturns.

He says the Government's proposed stimulus package will be the driving factor behind the economy's growth, which is set to have $42 billion pumped into investment and infrastructure building projects.

"I believe, based on the economic strategy the Government has developed and is implementing, that we will see Australia through the crisis, and we will be a more resilient economy and country as a result," Mr Rudd said.

"We have, as a Government, hope, optimism and confidence for the future of the Australian economy, but based on an economic strategy to see us through the crisis," he added.

According to the Canberra Times, the Federal Government has also promised $300 million to help retrenched workers develop their skills.  The funds would help jobseekers with access to skills assessments and training programmes, and will give jobseekers financial support of up to $550 immediately, rather than having to wait three months. 

Although the unemployment levels in Australian are rising, the Government recognises that there are still critical skill gaps in the workforce that are not being filled by local Australian workers.  As a result, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Senator Chris Evans has decided to keep the 133,500 skilled migration places as a ceiling until the next Budget. 

Evans said he expects the number of people emigrating to Australia next year would most likely reduce because demand for labour would reduce, particularly in the temporary overseas workers category (Subclass 457 visa).  He will also refrain from making changes to the Pacific guest worker scheme that went live this month, allowing thousands of Pacific Islanders to work in Australia in horticultural areas identified by the government as having critical labour shortage. 

The Minister has also hinted that the critical skills list (that allows migrants with specific skills to take priority over others in the processing of skilled visas) would be reviewed formally in a few weeks time.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

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