12 September 2006

Australia deemed pukka for British chefs

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The Australian Government is recruiting chefs, cooks, bakers and pastry cooks to fill dire skills shortages in the country’s booming restaurant, catering and hospitality industries.

Under the country’s points based immigration system, chefs and bakers are being given bonus points and their applications are fast tracked in order to get them in the country as soon as possible.

'Jamie Oliver is in Australia at the moment opening his fourth restaurant – which just goes to show that the catering and hospitality industries are booming for Brits. The Government has identified bakers, pastry chefs, cooks and chefs as in demand and vital to the growth of the Australian economy,' said Oonagh Baerveldt, spokesperson for the Australian Visa Bureau.

'With so much growth and development, the current labour force cannot keep up,' said Baerveldt. 'Australian employers are looking to Britain for well-trained, qualified staff who understand Aussie values and the Aussie way of life.'

The Australian Government hopes to attract 97,500 skilled migrants to its shores in 2006. Of that number, approximately 20,000 will be skilled British workers.

'It’s a supply and demand issue to some extend; Australia has the demand and Britain has the supply.'

'And of course it also comes down to quality of life; there’s an opportunity for a better lifestyle because of the climate,' said Baerveldt. 'Most Brits settle outside of Sydney in smaller cities like Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane, close to the beach and in the sunshine.'

The Australian General Skilled Migration program is points based. Points are allocated based on age, language, skill, occupation and experience. Online assessments to determine points and eligibility can be found at http://visabureau.com/australia. Applicants whose skills are deemed to be in high demand are given additional points and their applications fast-tracked.

The Australian Government is actively seeking chefs, pastry chefs, cooks and a host of skilled trades as listed on its Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL). There are 80 occupations on the Demand List at present.

In a poll released last month by BBC Online and ICM, a stunning 13 percent of Britons have revealed they want to emigrate in the near future; and 40 percent named Australia as their destination of choice. Survey respondents cited warmer weather and cost of living as their primary reasons for considering a move abroad.

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