30 October 2007

Tradespeople with Australian visas can name their price

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Australia is facing a serious shortage of skilled tradespeople, who can now charge higher rates for their work, according to the senior executive director of industry policy for the Housing Industry Association (HIA). British tradespeople with skills and experience will find themselves in high demand if they obtain an Australian visa.

Chris Lamont of the HIA told My Small Business magazine: "You'll get into a bidding war, where if you're an available tradesperson, you'll be able to charge a higher rate simply because of the strong demand in the market." Britons considering Australian immigration can expect opportunities and good wages.

Bricklayers, carpenters, tilers, electricians, builders, joiners, landscapers, plasterers are all in high demand. The latest quarterly HIA-Austral Bricks trades report shows all 13 trades sectors surveyed had decreasing availability in the third quarter. Plumbers, site preparers and roofers the closest to critical short supply according to the survey.

Western Australia and Queensland are experiencing the biggest shortages and Mr Lamont predicts the cost of hiring tradespeople will skyrocket as residential construction expands.

"It's extremely difficult across the whole construction industry: concreters, carpenters, and steel fixers. It's hard now even to find a receptionist," agreed Mark Haintz, national operating manager at trades recruitment firm MC Labour Services.

New schemes to encourage more Australians to train as tradespeople will not solve the problem because of the apparent unwillingness of employers to take on the responsibility of training apprentices.

No improvement in the shortage of tradespeople is expected in the next few years as Australia's unemployment rate is currently at a 33-year low of 4.2 per cent.

Australia needs more skilled tradespeople: Anyone interested in Australian immigration should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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