15 January 2007

Australia's armed forces look abroad for skilled recruits

Australia's skill shortages are not just confined to civilian life with the Australian defence forces looking overseas to help fill thousands of vacancies.

A report in the Australian newspaper details how the Royal Australian Navy has 696 technical trades vacancies, the army 362 vacancies and the Royal Australian Air Force seeks 457 technicians.

Foreign nationals are not restricted from joining the Australian armed forces but must meet the normal entry requirements and skilled visa requirements, including passing a character test and medical checks. They must also obtain national security clearance and become Australian citizens at the first opportunity.

A defence spokeswoman told the paper: "Foreign nationals may join the ADF in competition with other suitable applicants irrespective of previous military service.

"They must meet Australian immigration and permanent residency requirements as well as the normal ADF entry standards."

"Overseas applications from foreign nationals with extensive military experience will be considered for positions where skill shortages exist in the ADF. Overseas recruitment is designed to supplement, but not replace, Australian domestic recruiting efforts."

To be eligible to be sponsored for a job holiding an officers rank in the Royal Australian Navy, an overseas candidate must possess a qualification equivalent to an Australian bachelor degree, or higher level qualification, that requires a minimum of three years full-time study in an appropriate discipline. They also require a minimum of three years experience in the position for which the applicant is applying. The Air Force and Army have similar requirements.

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