29 November 2011

Former immigration minister calls for Australia to increase skilled migrant intake

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Former Australian immigration minister Nick Bolkus has suggested that Australia's skill shortages could be fixed by increasing migrant intake by 100,000 over the following three years.

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A former Australian immigration minister has said Australia should increase its migrant intake.

Bolkus, who served as Australian Immigration Minister from 1993-1996 under Paul Keating’s administration, noted the continuing economic turmoil for countries in the Eurozone, saying: “I think the European situation presents a really good opportunity for Australia to pick up young migrants who can contribute to developing this country - both skilled and those with the energy to apply themselves to the task we have.”

Among those supporting such a mover is Business South Australia CEO Peter Vaughan, who said: “The primary focus must be to attract workers that meet the skills needs of our local industries and if these workers are based in Europe then it is an option worth pursuing."

The government has already increased capacity for applicants seeking a permanent Australia visa by nearly 10% in the 2011/2012 migration program year. However, the former Minister suggests this is not enough to meet an increasing demand for skills and labour, and has called on governments at both state and federal level to increase advertising campaigns for countries affected by the economic crisis.

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