29 March 2006

Builders, bakers but no candlestick makers; Australia's booming economy fuels global recruitment drive

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The Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) has just topped up its Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) adding builders, bakers, glaziers, roof plumbers, tilers and stonemasons, among others, to its list of preferred migrants.

The MODL and Skills Occupation List (SOL) form part the backbone of Australia’s point-based skilled migration strategy. Applicants under the points tested General Skilled Migration (GSM) program who nominate an occupation on the MODL are awarded the maximum number points for the category.

‘From the additions to the list, you can clearly see the construction sector in Australia is booming. If you are a tradesperson in the building and construction industry and have ever wanted to go to Australia, now is your chance,’ said senior migration consultant, Martin Beveridge, Australian Visa Bureau. ‘Australia is opening its doors to you and your family. I’ve never seen the Australian Government so committed to attracting skilled workers.’

In addition to the occupations listed above, the Australian MODL already contains occupations such as hairdressers, chefs, accountants, doctors, nurses, bricklayers and cabinet makers. The complete list stands at 81 occupations. For the complete Migration Occupations in Demand List, please click here.

‘This means the Australian economy is ready to absorb skilled workers from the new categories listed,’ said Beveridge. ‘That’s how the system works; when Australian industry needs a group of skills migrants they put them straight onto the MODL. It’s a very proactive way for the government to plug holes in the economy where there are jobs, but not enough local candidates to fill them.’

Skills shortages in the wake of ageing populations are being felt not only in Australia, but also New Zealand and Canada. New Zealand is campaigning to have expatriates return home by offering them tax incentives. Canada is offering settlement programs and language training to qualified migrants.

Australia’s growing economy, fuelling in turn growth in the mining and construction sectors, is seeking skilled migrants who pass the county’s points test. The points test is based on six main criteria; age, English language ability, occupation, qualifications, work experience and skills.

‘The easiest and fastest way to check if you’re eligible for migration is to fill in an online assessment. The points system is complicated and the migration process can be lengthy,’ said Beveridge.

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