18 July 2008

Immigration Minister: more permanent migration needed to Western Australia

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Senator Chris Evans has told Western Australian companies they need to increase the amount of employees on a permanent migration visa. Too many overseas workers on temporary 457 visas are being used to meet the needs of labour shortages, and Senator Evans is urging employers to take advantage of the permanent migration scheme, reports WA Today.

Senator Evans is largely referring to the mining industry, in which its much-needed development is suffering from a massive labour shortage.  The industry is recruiting an increasing amount of people from other industries, creating new labour shortages where they previously did not exist.

“The reality is that the mining boom is sucking people out of the occupations where we traditionally haven’t been short supplied and the flow on effect to other industries is where the shortages have been found,” he told the newspaper.

Employers have also been criticised for using the temporary 457 visa as a band-aid solution to plugging skills shortages.  Overseas workers looking to migrate to Australia are finding the temporary visa program a much faster process, but are ultimately not a permanent resolution to the long-term development of the mining industry. 

“I want to see more employers sponsoring these workers as permanent skilled migrants, taking advantage of the [permanent migration] program, rather than just bringing them in through the 457 scheme,” he added.

This year, Senator Evans approved plans to increase the migration quota to Australia, so that now 190,000 people can migrate to Australia every year. 

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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