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Posts Tagged ‘immigrants’

Industry leaders in Australia are urging the Australian federal government to overhaul its skilled immigration program to address a looming shortage of workers.

Recent changes by DIAC to the skilled migration visa processing times have meant that many hundreds of applicants for visas have been told that they may have to wait up to 3 years and this is slated to impact on several massive projects announced for Western Australia, including the Gorgon gas development, expansion of the Pluto LNG plant and the development of the Mid-West iron ore region including the massive Gindalbie iron ore mine which will need upwards of 1500 workers during the construction stage.

 The recent Australian Financial Review (afr.com.au) has stated that skills shortages are set to intensify in coming years.

The article calls for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to urgently look at reviewing Australian visa policies to ensure that these shortages can be filled. More immigrants will be needed to work in Australia in industries such as energy, mining  and IT which, according to the review, face a major skills shortage unless something drastic is done to alleviate it.

Major Australian firms such as infrastructure giant United Group have also released warnings to the government that they will be facing skills shortages within 12 to 18 months.

The firm’s CEO Richard Leupen declared that the shortage has been brought about as a result of the tightening of the business visa rules. He says this has coincided with the company’s reduction in training programmes for staff in response to the recession.

In the IT industry, the need is even more acute. A study, commissioned by Microsoft Australia, has found the IT industry will generate $21 billion for GDP by the end of 2013 but any potential growth could be stifled by the shortage of skilled labour.

Bruce Mills, chief executive of IT consultancy firm 3W, says as more IT work becomes available, such as the National Broadband Network, companies will struggle to grow and obtain new projects if the number of skilled workers remains flat.

“What has occurred is that everything that was done to avoid the global financial crisis has sort of spilled over, and so by the time any of the results were felt any issue that caused the crisis is over, and that is what has happened with the tightening of 457 visas.”

Source  :  www.australiamagazine.co.uk

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The professional association representing migration agents, the Migration Institute of Australia, is concerned about allegations raised on tonight’s Four Corners program on migration and education scams.

“Unfortunately, hearing reports about international students and visa applicants falling prey to unscrupulous operators is not a new issue”, says Maurene Horder, CEO of the Migration Institute of Australia.

In May 2008, the MIA reported 60 rogue agents from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and is unaware if any of these were prosecuted.

Any unethical or illegal behaviour by registered migration agents is not tolerated by the Institute and should be cracked down on by the Department.

“We’ve been asking government to sort out problems with education agents and illegal or unscrupulous operators for an extended period of time. The announcement that education agents will have a register is a first step but doesn’t go far enough in reforming the sector,” says Ms Horder.

A recent independent report, entitled Changing Together, confirms the nature of some of the problems which affects the profession – that the bad behaviour of a minority of unscrupulous operators’ impacts negatively on the entire migration advice profession.

“Following the report’s release, the MIA is acting on a comprehensive range of reforms to strengthen standards and ethics of migration agents.” says Ms Horder. These include:

• Comprehensive reform to the education and training of agents
• Requiring current Registered Migration Agents to requalify to a higher standard of English language and professional competence
• Introduce a tiered system of registration to protect consumers
• Formation of an independent complaints body with the power to review fees

Responsibility for change should be shared by education providers, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

“I wait with interest to see tonight’s Four Corners episode and hope that it will provide an added impetus for the key stakeholders to come together and develop appropriate policies to meet Australia’s educational and immigration interests without anyone being exploited.”

  • Source  :  www.mia.org.au
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    western_Australia_hotel_MapWESTERN Australia has the fastest growing population in Australia, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

    WA’s population growth rate has hit 3.1 per cent for the year ending December 2008 – well ahead of every other state or territory.   

    Next was Queensland, growing at 2.5 per cent, Northern Territory, 2.0 per cent, Victoria, 1.9 per cent, ACT, 1.7 per cent, New South Wales, 1.4 per cent, South Australia, 1.2 , and Tasmania, 1.0 per cent.

    WA, along with Queensland, had the highest rate of intra-state migration, with WA attracting 6300 people from other states and territories and Queensland luring 21,200 interstaters.

    At December 31, 2008, WA’s population was 2,204,000 — the fourth largest in Australia, with NSW the most populous state (7.04 million), followed by Victoria (5.36 million) and Queensland (4.35 million).

    Nationally the population increased by 1.9 percent  from 2007 — the highest growth rate recorded since the 1950s and 1960s, which was boosted by post war migration and high birth rates. 

    These rates compare with a 1.2 per cent growth rate recorded five years ago.

    At the end of 2008 Australia’s population had swelled by 406,100 people to 21,644,000.

    Of the 406,100 new Australians,  62 per cent, or  253,400, were overseas immigrants. The excess of births over deaths contributed 152,700. 

    The states losing the most people to interstate migration were New South Wales (down 22,700), South Australia (down 5200) and Victoria (down 1000).

    Source www.news.com.au

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