24 November 2008

South Australia to hire 10,000 Filipino workers

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South Australia has turned to the Philippines to source workers in an attempt to plug the massive skills shortage in the state, reports the Manila Bulletin.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said yesterday South Australia may be the saving grace of those overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) around the world who are losing their jobs to the forces of the global economic slowdown.

POEA Administrator Jennifer Jardin-Manalili said South Australia would take on 10,000 Filipino workers in the construction industry, including welders and pipe fitters, so that infrastructure projects can continue throughout the next decade.

A further 133,000 people would be needed by South Australia's workforce by 2018 to maintain the same level of construction, and another 206,000 needed to replace those who leave the workforce.

"Australia is very reassuring that it will hire OFWs starting next year even in its export, manufacturing, and retail sectors adversely affected by the financial crisis," Manalili said in an interview.

The Philippine Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will sign an agreement with Australia's Deputy Premier Kevin Foley early next year, according to the DOLE Secretary Marianito Roque. 

"South Australia is bent on recruiting Filipino skilled workers to address its perennial problem on skills shortage and subsequently ease the pressure on employers in this Australian state, struggling with the lack of essential skills," Roque said.

Roque expressed hope that those Filippinos who move to Australia under this impending labour agreement would provide "for the protection and the development and skills upgrading of OFWS."

South Australia houses only 10 per cent of Australia's population and relies on agriculture, mining, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, defence technology, and electronics systems for its primary sources of revenue.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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